County Assembles Team to Assess Damage from Tuesday’s Storm
Clark County’s Building Department is conducting preliminary assessments of damage caused by Tuesday’s storm to homes and businesses in unincorporated areas of the County.
The Department has assembled 10, two-person teams to conduct damage assessments. Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani accompanied some members of the teams this afternoon when they visited a hard-hit neighborhood near the Desert Rose Golf Course and the Las Vegas Wash. More than 40 homes in the neighborhood, located in Commissioner Giunchigliani’s District E near Sahara Avenue and Nellis Boulevard, were reported to have sustained damage. The Commissioner also visited other neighborhoods near UNLV where damage occurred.
“Clark County is working with the Red Cross and other agencies to help residents recover from this storm,” Commissioner Giunchigliani said. “My hope is that many of the property owners affected by this storm had flood insurance. Our goal now is to assess the damage and work closely with the state to determine whether assistance can be provided to help residents cope with the mess left behind.”
The County’s preliminary assessment report will be forwarded to the state for review. Depending on the extent of the damage, the state may be able to request federal assistance on behalf of property owners.
County assessment teams are recording damage, and making safety determinations for occupancy. So far only a minimal amount of structural damage has been detected. The greatest impact has been to carpeting, furnishings and personal effects. A significant amount of debris cleanup also is needed on may impacted properties. Department of Public Works crews spent the day cleaning up debris that had washed onto roadways as a result of the storm. As of 2 p.m., Cooper Crossing in Overton, Nev., and Ranch Road in Moapa Valley were closed. Cactus Avenue at Radcliff Street in the southeast valley also was closed.
Building officials recommend property owners take photos or video of damage, and hire licensed contractors to do any repair work in their homes and businesses.
“After storms, it’s common for unscrupulous people to come out of the woodwork and try to cash in on homeowners needing help with repairs,” Building Official Ron Lynn stated. “It’s important that you hire only licensed contractors to ensure work is done correctly for the protection of yourself and your family.”
In addition, the storm is a reminder that residents living near washes are encouraged to have flood insurance even if their property isn’t located in a flood zone. Several neighborhoods near Desert Rose Golf Course and the Las Vegas Wash have been identified as at risk for flooding. A $35 million flood control project is in the works to improve the Las Vegas Wash from the Sloan Channel to Cedar Avenue. Design and construction of the project is expected to take place in the next five years as part of the Regional Flood Control District’s ten-year construction program. In November 2011, 1,700 homes and businesses were added to a revised flood hazard map in the area. Structures located in a designated flood zone are required to carry flood insurance.
Flood zone boundaries are determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the local communities. To find out if your home is located in a flood zone, call the Clark County Regional Flood Control District at (702) 685-0000 or visit its website at www.regionalflood.org. Flood insurance policies are available to all homeowners with backing from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Visit the National Flood Insurance Program’s website at www.FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-638-6620. You also can call your local insurance agent or visit FEMA’s website, www.fema.gov, for information.
Other important safety tips to keep in mind when storms occur are:
If you are driving and are caught in a major storm, consider pulling over to a location higher than the street and wait out the storm.
Never drive through a flooded roadway or around barricades. Roads underneath may be damaged and impassable.
If your car stalls, it may be safer to stay with the vehicle. Swift moving water only inches deep can sweep you off your feet and result in drowning. Only you can make the decision of which option is safer.
Do not let children or pets play in or near flood water. Flood water can move up to 30 mph and is filled with hazardous materials such as debris, chemicals, oil and pet waste. Stay out of flood channels and detention basins, which can rise as quickly as one foot a minute.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 14th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 42 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.