Millions spent to control flooding in Las Vegas valley


Over the last decade, the Clark County Regional Flood Control District has spent more than $100 million in the northwest part of the Las Vegas valley.

Engineers hope a project will help alleviate flooding in those neighborhoods.

“When it rains here, it’ll flood rather quickly,” said Diane Lechefsky, lives in the neighborhood.

You might remember the gully washer in the northwest valley last summer?

“It looked like the Missouri River,” said Will Miller, who spoke with 8 News NOW on July 25, 2017 following the downpour and flooding.

Brent Lane near Durango and Grand Teton became first a raging river then a muddy bog. The Clark County Regional Flood Control District had just started work on a new drainage system.

“Water carried on down Brent Lane and ended up basically flooding the project,” said engineer Todd Myers.

He’s the district’s top engineer. He says that was a sign the $4 million, first-phase of the project should make a dent in this flood-prone neighborhood.

“Once this facility is completed, it should pick up that flow and carry it to the detention basin.”

This phase of the project has three steps in how it works. First, all of the water that comes out of the mountains and through the neighborhoods is collected in a number of big drains that go down into an underground tunnel. 

The tunnel then empties into a flood channel, and all of that water then ends up winding its way downstream into Floyd Lamb Park.

That’s where the channel opens up, and all of the water flows into a retention basin.

The flood control district doesn’t expect Monday’s storm to test the limits of its network. But Diane Lechefsky has seen this area flood many times before and knows one good downpour could change that.

“I’m hoping that it will work, because I know I walk down here, and after the flood last summer, this was a real mess through here,” she said.

There’s a second phase of the project which will continue from Durango to El Capitan and Iron Mountain.

It’s still being designed. So, it may be a few years yet before they can get that built. 

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