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Campaign Raises Awareness About Flood Dangers | News

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Campaign Raises Awareness About Flood Dangers
News

LAS VEGAS - The Clark County Regional Flood Control District is raising awareness about the dangers of flooding as part of Monsoon Safety Awareness Week.

The Flood Control District has posted billboards across the valley that cite the dangers of driving through flooded roads.

One billboard is located near the Pittman Wash where floodwaters swept away a 17-year-old male last year. Another billboard sits near the Desert Rose Golf Course where a landscaper drowned.

The billboards warn, "Don't enter flooded streets." The signs are featured in English and Spanish and depict a wave of water rushing toward the reader.

The desert soil in Las Vegas prevents water from soaking into the ground. The water runs off the soil and downhill, causing flash flooding to happen within minutes.

For almost 30 years, the Flood Control District has been working on a project to reduce the flash flooding dangers. Crews have installed 580 miles of flood channels to move water to Lake Mead.

Channels near Desert Rose Golf Course on the valley's east side are expected to be completed by 2015.

People who live in older communities are at the greatest risk.

"New development is better protected than development built prior to the Flood Control District," said Flood Control District General Manager Gale Fraser. "The reason being is that we have regulations. We have criteria. We are going to have to do a drainage study to show what they're building does not put them in harm's way and that they're protected."

The project to make the entire valley safe from flash floods will likely take 10 to 20 years to complete.

For now, the Flood Control District warns people to stay indoors when it's raining and avoid flash flooding altogether.

"It's like the first snow if you have snow. It's a novelty. The first rain here, it becomes a novelty," Fraser said. "It doesn't rain that much, so I think some people are going out there to try and see what's happening, and some people are putting themselves in harm's way, and that's what they cannot do."

If you see a street flooded with rain water, avoid it. You can never tell how deep the water is, and rushing water could sweep you away in a manner of seconds.

You can also buy flood insurance to recoup the losses in your home in the event of a flood.

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