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Governor announces Mt. Charleston flood diversion plan

Reported by: Denise Rosch
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Updated: 8/25/2014 11:55 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- Gov. Brian Sandoval told Mount Charleston residents Monday morning that plans are under way for a “temporary storm water diversion structure” to protect homes and property from future flash floods.

Several homes in the Rainbow subdivision of Kyle Canyon were damaged in flooding last month. Roads also were washed out.

The flooding was made worse because a wildfire there last summer destroyed much of the vegetation.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offered to build an earthen barrier that could protect the homes from floods, but Clark County officials rejected the agreement because it required the county to assume legal responsibility.

Sandoval announced Monday that through an agreement with the state, the Army Corps will begin construction on the berm soon. The state will take on the liability.

“If you really want to lawyer this thing, it's the state,” he said in answering who will be responsible for the project. “That's why we’re signing this sponsorship agreement to accept this liability. But the bigger picture is I think, there's a greater liability not to do something.”

One Kyle Canyon resident, Rodney Dukes, said he hopes to be back in his Rainbow subdivision house by October, but that could depend on whether there is more flooding.

“So we’re kind of doing the basics now and leaving things more or less in a holding pattern,” Dukes said.

Sandoval said construction on the berm should begin within a few weeks. A state survey crew will visit the area Tuesday. If all goes as planned, the structure should be in place before the first snow fall.

County officials have estimated that public infrastructure damage from the flooding was about $1.4 million, including roads and water lines. Damage to 10 homes was estimated at $849,000.

Residents had criticized county officials for not reaching a deal with the Corps of Engineers that would have placed a 1,700-foot earthen berm to help divert floodwater away from the subdivision.

The government was prepared to build the $880,000 project in June before the rainy season. But county officials were concerned because the government’s plan required the county to assume legal liability for the structure. Now the state will take on that liability.



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