Our network

Neighborhood fears flooding, waits for flood channel upgrades | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Neighborhood fears flooding, waits for flood channel upgrades

LAS VEGAS -- The monsoon season is now underway and that means potentially deadly flooding that could hit anywhere in the valley at any time.

One of the worst cases recently was in Sept. 2012 when two people lost their lives. In one of the hardest hit areas, near the Desert Rose Golf Course, trapped drivers had to be rescued from their cars, parts of the UNLV campus flooded and people in one neighborhood had to evacuate after floodwaters and mud flowed through their homes.

Nearly two years later, some people who live in that neighborhood say they still feel unsafe and unprotected from flooding.

The neighborhood near the Hard Rock Hotel at Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue. More than a dozen homes and apartments were damaged there in the 2012 flood and some neighbors say they are still waiting for construction to improve the flood channel on Naples Drive. That channel unexpectedly overflowed two summers ago.

Martha Swirbull, 91, has been busy lately laying out sand bags in front of her home.

"If I can help a little bit, I don't want the water to come," she said.

The floodwaters that did come two years ago, damaged both of her homes on Naples Drive. Swirbull says she's still waiting for crews to renovate the wash.

"They need to fix it. We've been calling and nobody did nothing," she said.

Clark County officials say there is a plan in place to line the entire wash with concrete to make it stronger and more resistant to flooding, but the construction is not set to begin for another year.

"We are trying to do as much as we can as quick as we can," said Gail Fraser, general manager of the Regional Flood Control District.

He says there are currently 20 projects underway across the valley to improve everything from flood basins, to storm drains, to channels like the one on Naples Drive.

Fraser says, just because the project isn't completed doesn't mean it won't happen.

"Everything is a priority, it wouldn't be in our master plan if it's not a priority," he said.

But Swirbull says she may not be able to afford to wait a year. She is having a tough time renting out her house next door and she doesn't want the risk of another flood this summer.

The Clark County Regional Flood Control District has completed five projects within the past year with a price tag of more than $40 million.