Frustration among homeowners is growing after blasting resumed in Southern Highlands.
Homeowners have described those blasts as resembling an earthquake. 8 News NOW was there as the blasting started Wednesday morning sending a deep rumble through the nearby neighborhood.
Since June, residents living near the blast area have been rocked by several planned explosions as part of an expansion of Highland Hills. Dozens of residents say their homes have been damaged by the blasts from foundations to retaining walls and ceilings, even cracks through stone, including Richard Travis’ granite counters.
“Two of them have cracks and the one blast that went off today widened the one crack a lot more,” Travis said.
“We were assured throughout all of this that the county would be monitoring this and there wouldn’t be any damage to existing houses. Did that happen? Absolutely not. This is the first time we’ve seen anybody from the county out there when they’re getting ready to do a blast,” said Howard McCarley, resident.
Several residents have hired a local attorney because of the damage. And there’s another issue that concerns some neighbors, the third party company monitoring the blasting called VCE.
“On the VCE website they say their specialty is protecting blasters from damage claims,” McCarley said.
On VCE’s website, it claims to defend unwarranted lawsuits with blast damage control, construction documentation, analysis and public relations services. It also states its legal video department provides the tools for persuasive legal argument.
Richard Travis says he reached out to WESCO, the company doing the blasting, and then received a letter from VCE.
“They basically told me it’s all environmental, Travis said. “I’ve lived here for 13 years. Born and raised in Las Vegas. Lived in several houses and never had any kind of environmental cracks in granite or in ceilings due to settling.”
“First thing that went through my mind is these are the guys who are supposed to be monitoring the amount of shock that is generated by the blast and the question is whether they’re monitoring in my interest or the interest of the blaster. What do you think? I think it’s fairly obvious. We’ve had 30 homes that have experienced some pretty significant damage and the answer we’ve got from VCE is it’s all related to climactic changes and ground settlement,” ” McCarley said.
I reached out to Clark County officials, including Commissioner Susan Brager, WESCO officials who did not want to comment, and VCE.
VCE has not returned 8 News NOW’s phone calls.