LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Monsoon season is one of the most dangerous times of the year. That’s why the Regional Flood Control District’s mission is to inform the public on how to stay away from floods.
“It’s important every year to remind people of Monsoon season because new residents move here, people come from all over the country and the world,” explained Erin Neff, public information manager for the District.
Neff says this time of year is when we can have the worst flash flooding.
“The Southern Monsoon is basically a shift in the winds, and when that happens, usually mid-June into July in our southwest region, it means a lot of moisture can push in from the Pacific Ocean,” Neff explained.
Even though humidity is relatively low here, we still get that moisture.
“Las Vegas has been impacted by Monsoon season going back decades. In the 70s, Caesars Palace was upended by floods,” said Neff.
And some years have been worse than others.
“Back in 1999, however, there was a massive flood that caused widespread damage throughout Clark County,” Neff recounted.
This led to a presidential declaration of disaster, as it caused a lot of damage and lives were lost. Although we weren’t prepared back then for something of that magnitude, progress has been made.
“Fast forward to 2020, we have 660 miles of channel throughout Clark County, we have 102 detention basins” Neff explained, “all those things are here now to protect people.”
People in the Valley need to be aware of the rapidly changing weather every summer and pay close attention to their surroundings.
“Right now, we have a campaign that stresses water always wins. We want to show people the power of flooding,” said Neff, “We want to show them what happens when they drive through it, when they are in the channels and the water comes.”
The year 2019 was forecasted to have an active Monsoon season. While we did have storms, luckily, there wasn’t major flooding, but there was still the warning to keep clear of flood channels.
“People are recreating in the flood control system; that is a problem. It needs to stop in the summer, or they are in danger,” Neff warned.