UPPER SOUTH EAST COMMUNITIES COALITION, INC - Environmental Preservation Group in Washoe County
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Tony Chadwick on 5/14/2013 1:36 AM
 
Reno Tahoe International 1997 FloodMy house was built in 1986 ABOVE the 100 year flood zone - not so any more. In 40 years the flood level has risen over 2 ft and the catchment area is still being built on; the up and coming SE Connector being the prime example. If you want proof then take a look at the RGJ pictures of the airport flooding (image obtained here) in the early hours of 1997 with 3.5 ft of flood waters interrupting flights, closing the airport and impacting revenues for airlines, airport facilities, franchises and employment. If you want another indicator of things to come, take a close look at the 'new' Hidden Valley fire station accommodation built with some 3 ft of elevation ABOVE the area that was barely touched by the 1997 flood and ask yourself why! What do they know that we don't? Well for one I would guess that they consider the SE Connector a DONE DEAL and with NO allowance for flood plain alleviation. For what reason - a handful of traffic that has been grossly overestimated with studies that took place when house building and population was growing rapidly - LONG BEFORE the recession took hold and the cost of commuting sky rocketed with increased gas prices (by the way did you know that our gas prices include a tax for building the SE Connector - falsely advertised by the RTC as "... making jobs for Nevadans" when much of the work has been assigned out of State). The voter was definitely 'conned' into that one. Bottom line - we DONT NEED the SE Connector, given the $500- $800m cost and 2% of Reno population that will use it then that relates to each commuter getting a $200,000 handout for using it - YOU paid for that in your gas purchases - and that is just to build it! Add to that maintenance and clean up of potentially poisonous air pollution, interruption to business and additional damage to property the first time it floods. I am still at a loss as to why this road is being built unless there is some other commercial benefits to land owners that adjoin the road and no doubt will develop gas stations, convenience stores, advertising etc., without making adjustment for flood control of course. I can envisage a 20 year cycle of shutting down the airport, disrupting businesses and creating unemployment just to help a handful of individuals get to work some 10 minutes earlier. As I said before - it makes no sense to me, no real benefit to commuters, the analyses of the needs are seriously outdated and only a minor part of the population will use it, a major impact to the flood zone, a high risk of air and river pollution locally and downstream Truckee River during construction, destruction of wild life habitat (I know it is personal but I will sorely miss the nesting bald eagles) and it will cost $500m - $800mm plus for the 'pleasure'. Surely we could use the money for better purpose in the Truckee Meadows. One last thing: Don't trust what the RTC say. They promised a review of the road route and came back with a preferred one that did not impact the flood zone (East of the hills behind Hidden Valley). They then dismissed the recommendation saying that they only did the study to placate the residents affected by the road construction.

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