LAS VEGAS (FOX5) - When the rain comes, some parks across the valley end up flooding. That’s on purpose, according to the Clark County Regional Flood Control District.
Signs warning of flooding and drowning dangers are posted at every park that also doubles as a flood basin.
“It’s a multi-use facility. It's a detention basin and a park,” Clark County Regional Flood Control District general manager Steven Parrish said.
But when Mother Nature comes rolling in, it’s time to let her play.
“When it rains, the people have to get out,” Parrish said.
“There were some reports that the park was flooding, which is true,” he said. “But it was really doing what it was designed to do. So it was doing its job.”
Most days out of the year, its job is just to be a park. But in Las Vegas, when it rains, it pours and all that water needs somewhere to go.
“Those facilities are then used to capture rain flow, storm flow and control it,” Parrish said.
The Clark County Regional Flood Control District has created more than a dozen of these parks across the valley.
- Anthem Hills Park (McCullough Hills Detention Basin)
- Arroyo Grande Sports Complex (Pittman Park Peaking Basin)
- Barkin’ Basin Park & Buckskin Basin Park (Gowan North Detention Basin)
- Charlie Frias Park (Lower Flamingo Detention Basin) Located at Decatur and Tropicana
- Cornerstone Park (Pittman Railroad East Sediment Basin) Located at Wigwam and Stephanie
- Desert Breeze Park (Lakes Detention Basin) Located at Durango and Spring Mtn.
- The Club at Sunrise – Flamingo Wash (golf course)
- The Club at Sunrise – Las Vegas Wash (golf course)
- Desert Willow Golf Course Located at West Horizon Ridge Parkway
- Doc Romeo Park – Gowan South Detention Basin Located off Buffalo and Cheyenne
- Floyd Lamb Park At Tule Springs (North and South Enhancement Area Basins) Located in the far northwest
- Las Vegas Springs Preserve (Meadows Detention Basin) Located on Valley View near Alta
- Majestic Park (Lone Mountain Detention Basin) Located at Hualapai and Alexander
- Sandstone Ridge Park (Lower Las Vegas Wash Detention Basin) Located Hammer Lane at Washburn NLV
- Sunny Springs Park (Elkhorn Springs Detention Basin) Located at Buffalo and Sunny Springs
Once they pick a spot, they let either the city or county decide how to make use of the space when it’s not raining.
“We try to design these basins so that when we do have multiple use,” Parrish said. “The soccer fields are elevated so then when the water rises up, the soccer field can be essentially dry. And so the people playing soccer there would know, ‘Oh, we've got water. We've got to get out.’”
Flood district officials agreed spaces like that make sense.
“We’re allowing the public in, which you know, makes flood control people nervous,” he said. “But we realize it's a good place to put a trail. We put in access roads, so why not use them when it's not raining.”
They want visitors to be cautious on the field, especially when it comes to competing with Mother Nature.
“They’re dangerous facilities if you don't get out of them,” Parrish said. “If it's raining, just don't use the facility.”
Public works crews also monitor rainfall around all of these parks and post those totals in real-time online.
Then, they can send out crews to block them off, if needed.