LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Moapa Valley is roughly 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas near the Utah border, and historically floods when it rains, though people living there say they’ve been asking for more flood mitigation with no luck.

Their testimonies contrast with what those in charge told 8 News Now.

Wednesday brought heavy floods to the area, especially to those who live near the Muddy River. Arturo Villezcas, for one, is unable to get to his front door by car anymore.

His house sits adjacent to other homes owned by seniors on top of a small hill. The dirt road up that hill now has a large crack through the middle of it, preventing cars from driving up it.

“All the roads were like rivers,” Villezcas said, recalling his drive home Wednesday while pointing to the damage that forced him to park nearly half a mile away downhill from his home.

On the other side of I-15, the community of Overton was spared flooding damage this storm, though residents are no strangers to damage.

Cappalappa Family Resource Center, at the bottom of three intersecting roads, is still recovering from September flooding. Director Penny Vallone says the flooding destroyed all the products and office spaces inside.

“If we’re trying to take care of cleaning up, we can’t help people with, you know, services for food stamps or snap, Medicaid, or even our food bank that we have,” Vallone said. Watermarks on the inside wall mark where the water flooded up to roughly six months ago.

Villezcas, Vallone, and other people living in Moapa Valley say they’ve asked for measures to prevent these events from Clark County commissioners and public works personnel for years.

Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who represents the district Moapa Valley is in, told 8 News Now via phone call that some work from the area’s flood control masterplan has already been done to address that, with more flooding mitigation projects on the way.

“Problem areas are assessed on an ongoing basis and projects are implemented as funding permits,” a Clark County representative wrote in an email to 8 News Now. “Our Public Works Department has received a few reports of flood damage in the Moapa area and crews are working to remove debris.”

But other efforts, she said, have been obstructed by community interest. She says people who have voiced their opinions during town advisory board meetings rebuke new infrastructure projects that would bring new developments and zoning changes.

“We always make sure emergency services can get in there,” Kirkpatrick said over the phone, detailing steps the county currently takes after area flooding, which includes grating entrances to isolated communities, she adds.

Additionally, she says more funding and effort from the state are needed to fund further flood mitigation projects.

Until the community and county agree, residents here continue to fear the next storm.
“When I see the storm coming, I’m getting worried,” Villezcas said. “We’re the ones who clean up the drain, clean up all the debris. I don’t see (anyone from the) county that comes out and services these drains,” Vallone said. “We can only do so much. We’ve become sitting ducks.”

Clark County said the public can report areas of flooding in need of cleanup through the “FixIt Clark County” feature on its website.