Flood control project, awareness campaign underway - 8 News NOW

Flood control project, awareness campaign underway

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LAS VEGAS - Clark County officials are scheduled Monday to update the public on a flood control project at the Desert Rose Golf Course near Sahara Avenue and Nellis Boulevard.

Construction crews are making progress, but the $100 million project is only 50 percent complete. Construction started in November 2013 and is expected to be finished by May 2015.

The Clark County Regional Flood Control District is spearheading the project. Officials say crews are trying to finish construction as quickly as possible.

The project will lower the golf course to better contain floodwater, so it will not spill into nearby neighborhoods. Crews will also replace 24-inch underground pipes with 72-inch pipes and place them deeper underground. This drainage system connects the Flamingo Wash and the Las Vegas Wash.

Gale Fraser with the Clark County Regional Flood Control District says crews are already preparing for this year's flash flood season.

“Everyday, there is more sod planted. There’s more; it won't erode as much. There's a lot more capacity now than there was before," he said.

Flash flooding near Desert Rose Golf Course in 2012 left several neighborhoods underwater and killed a maintenance worker. As a result of the storm, FEMA declared 1,700 homes in a flood zone. That means the homes face a high risk of flash flooding.

In addition to the construction, flood control officials are asking the community to do its part to minimize flood dangers. Fraser says flash flood season lasts a few months, but they work year-round to educate the community.

He says flood control representatives visit local schools and talk to children, who then pass the information along to their parents. The Flood Control District also issues public service announcements on billboards and on television.

Fraser urges people to never underestimate flash flooding. A foot of running water can carry a lot of force. He says currents are extremely strong and can carry people and vehicles with ease. He urges people to seek higher ground during a flood and not to try and save their items.

“(Are) your personal belongings more important than your life? I don’t think so. Your life, you can continue living it. You can try and recreate those personal belongings,” he said.

Remember, if you encounter a flood, do not try to walk or drive through it.

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