Biggest Little City

Flood and Drainage



Steamboat Creek Flood Map Change:  The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Maps are changing in the vicinity of Steamboat Creek in Reno, Nevada.  The SouthEast Connector (SEC) Project, which is a roadway project by the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), is proposing to construct the SEC roadway within the Steamboat Creek floodplain.  Because the effective (a.k.a, “current”) Flood Maps are outdated, the Flood Maps must be updated to reflect the existing conditions as they are today, without consideration of the SEC Project.  Then, the RTC must show that the proposed SEC project will not cause impacts--or else they must purchase property or easements where impacts will be caused due to the project.  For additional information on the Steamboat Creek Flood Map Change, including information pertaining to an upcoming informational Public Open House, please click here.

The Flood and Drainage group operates within the Sanitary Engineering Section of the Public Works Department of the City of Reno. Staffing and projects are largely paid for through the portion of the sewer fees dedicated to drainage projects, as described on the City’s sewer bills. 

Flood and Drainage Documents

View more information on the West Wash Dam Rehabilitation project 


Of the many Flood and Drainage functions, Floodplain Management and Drainage Improvements are two main components (described as follows). In addition, Reno Flood and Drainage Staff actively participate in planning and engineering for the Truckee River Flood Project.

Floodplain management
Floodplain management is the operation of a community program of corrective and preventative measures for reducing flood damage. These measures take a variety of forms and generally include requirements for zoning, subdivision or building, and special-purpose floodplain ordinances.

A community's agreement to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances, particularly with respect to new construction, is an important element in making flood insurance available to home and business owners.

The Flood and Drainage group manages regional components of drainage planning, and drainage issues, interacts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for flood map updates, designs and constructs publicly funded projects, and is the community repository for FEMA flood map information. Most homeowners and developers will typically interact with the City exclusively or primarily though Reno’s Community Development Department, which is responsible for review, permitting and enforcement of the Development Code.

The primary contact at the City for the review of requests for Conditional Letters of Map Change/Letters of Map Change (aka, CLOMR/LOMR or other types of changes) is the Community Development Department. The Community Development Department works with private citizens, developers, engineers and planners. Internally, the Public Works Department (through the Flood and Drainage group) will provide a parallel review to ensure that regional issues and City interests have been addressed. The floodplain administrator for the City of Reno is Neil Mann, Public Works Director.

Drainage Improvements
Flood and Drainage has primary involvement for those drainage improvements which are funded, designed or constructed by the Public Works Department, or where any one of these functions is performed in cooperation with other groups or partners. Many other public facilities constructed for drainage purposes are paid for and constructed by local development, with oversight provided by the Community Development Department.

View Full Site