‘We’ve never had two rescues like this:’ Overnight flooding in rural Clark County leads to swift water rescues
Overton, Nev. (FOX5) - In Overton, a rural community that is part of the unincorporated town of Moapa Valley in Clark County, residents are not unused to occasional flooding when it rains. But with a sudden storm bringing flash floods early Wednesday morning, crews rescued three people from two cars after they got stuck in the floodwater in their vehicles.
“We’ve never had two rescues like this, swift water rescues that we’ve had to conduct,” said Chief Stephen Neel of the Moapa Valley Fire District.
In one of those incidents, the driver of a semi-truck got stuck in a flash food while driving on a particularly vulnerable part of the town’s frequented Highway 169.
“At 1:26 [Wednesday] morning, we received a call for two vehicles that were caught in flash flooding,” said Neel. “Saw a wall of water about three feet come through... Water was rushing through the vehicle, and also the subject was stuck inside the vehicle. We were able to get him out, got him into medical.”
Neel said the rescued driver was checked out by medical staff and determined to be okay. It did take several hours later in the morning to remove his big rig from the mud, however.
“Flash floods rise really quickly. People underestimate flash floods, so at the time it seemed like it was passable,” said Neel.
In the other incident, a couple was rescued from a van they were driving that got stuck in the swift-running floodwaters. They were rescued via helicopter, according to officials, and determined to be okay without any injuries.
The positive outcomes in both situations are a result of the hard work of the community’s first responders.
“We’re a combination fire department. We have 55 volunteers... Once we got that alert, they woke up and responded to this emergency... They’re trained to go into it rapidly moving water. We are a small town. The community— they come together in these types of events,” said Neel.
He continued, “Unfortunately we’re kind of used to these types of floods in Moapa Valley.”
Just down the road in Overton, Mack Lyon Middle School’s campus was severely flooded as well. One parent of two students in the school, Kat Lounsbury, told FOX5 it looks like “they have a lake on campus.”
Meanwhile, many volunteer rescuers spent the remainder of their Wednesdays getting some well-deserved rest.
Copyright 2022 KVVU. All rights reserved.