Daybreak Dangers

Kim Rhodemyre of the Upper South East Communities Coalition wrote a compelling article that Daybreak is dangerous to residents in eastern Reno.  I summarized her principal points.

  • The Truckee Meadows averages a “100 year” flood about every 17 years.  We had “100 year” floods in 1986, 1997, and 2005.
  • The Vista Narrows east of Sparks is a restriction on the Truckee River that causes upstream flooding in eastern Reno.  This floods the area of UNR Farms and the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course.  This area also collects water from the North Truckee Drain in Sparks.  The Daybreak development will increase the flow capacity through the South Meadows with channel improvements so that water collected upstream (to the south) will flow to the Truckee River more quickly raising the flood level in the area flooded by the Truckee.
  • Eastern Reno is also vulnerable to flooding from Steamboat Creek which has 9 tributaries.  Steamboat Creek has a restriction at the Butler Ranch Narrows located between South Meadows and Hidden Valley near Alexander Lake.  This restriction has worsened with the new Veterans Parkway which takes up some of the space in that narrow channel.  The Daybreak homes will be built on elevated on fill on both sides of the Narrows which will reduce the opening further.  In addition, the other new homes will be built on elevated fill reducing the flood storage area available.  So, when flooding backs up at the Butler Narrows, it will not spread out as it does now, but rather rise in level and flood neighborhoods further south.  So, Daybreak will cause more flooding from Steamboat Creek in the South Meadows area.
  • The developer will put in retention basins as a mitigation strategy to offset the increased runoff from Daybreak.  This is will not be effective.  The large mitigation basin at the airport along with 4 other large basins have been full for years rendering them useless for the next storm.  The same is true for the detention basins built for the Southeast Connector.  The water table is too high for these basins to ever drain through percolation, so they have become permanent bodies of water.  We can expect the same to happen with the basins built for Daybreak.

The Daybreak development comes up for its “second reading” at the Reno City Council meeting on October 23.  You can try to contact or persuade one of the council members who voted to approve Daybreak in spite of the detailed arguments: Reese, Delgado, Jardon, Weber.  Delgado’s approval was surprising since Daybreak is in his ward and is manifestly unpopular with his constituents.  Reese is new to the city council, so his predilections are not so clear.  He is seeking his way and might respond to persuasion.

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