Clark Co. declares state of emergency for Mt. Charleston area - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Clark Co. declares state of emergency for Mt. Charleston area

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Floodwater rushes down Mount Charleston on Monday, July 28. (FOX5) Floodwater rushes down Mount Charleston on Monday, July 28. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The cleanup of Mount Charleston's Rainbow subdivision continues following another round of major flooding last week that wiped out roads and destroyed several houses.

On Wednesday, Clark County commissioners voted to declare a state of emergency in the area and discussed plans for preventing the damage from occurring again.

Repairs from last week's flood are estimated to cost $1.4 million. The disaster declaration makes the county eligible for state and federal funding to reimburse the cost.

Commissioners are now seeking funding for preventative measures.

"The people on the mountain have gone through hell the last 14 months – the Carpenter 1 fire, flooding that happened shortly after, the most recent event," Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a plan for a 1,700-foot raised barrier, or berm, near the neighborhood that would divert floodwater away from homes and roads for the next seven to 10 years.

However, county commissioners have concerns about taking legal liability for it out of fear it might fail.

"The concern is if [it's overwhelmed], that berm that's built could provide even more damage to those homes," Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said.

Brown on Wednesday said the county has been trying to finalize the plan for the past three months and has agreed to pay at least a million dollars into maintenance once the berm is constructed.

Brown said what's holding the project up is trying to get the state and the federal governments to assume some of the liability.

"We're the only ones who have committed to spend millions of dollars over a seven- to 10-year period, but we will not put liability on the citizens of Southern Nevada, a liability the state and the feds don't even want to talk about," Brown said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval seemed to be in favor of the berm project when he toured the Rainbow subdivision last week, but said he needs the support of all parties involved before anything can move forward.

The Army Corps of Engineers said that if approved, the berm could be finished in about a month.

Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford said he plans to work quickly to obtain funding to help with the cleanup and reconstruction of the Rainbow subdivision.

Gov. Brian Sandoval on Wednesday issued the following statement concerning flood damage at the Rainbow subdivision:

"This is a dangerous situation for the residents of Mt. Charleston that poses continued threats to their lives and property and requires immediate attention. Although the primary responsibility for protecting these innocent residents from further harm lies with Clark County and the federal government, the state stands ready to assist and has already engaged with county and federal officials to find a solution that protects all the affected parties. The state will continue to foster discussions on potential solutions to this public safety concern."

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