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State of Emergency declared at Mount Charleston | News

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State of Emergency declared at Mount Charleston

MOUNT CHARLESTON, Nev. -- The flood damage to Mount Charleston is so severe, Clark County has declared a State of Emergency.

Doing so could help taxpayers recoup some of the costs through federal and state grant money, but there are no guarantees the damage will hit the nearly $7 million mark needed to qualify for help.

So far, Clark County has spent $1.4 million to repair roads and water lines. There's also nearly $850,000 in damage to homes in the Rainbow Subdivision. That is still about $4.5 million short of what's needed.

People in the hard-hit Rainbow Subdivision are facing thousands of dollars in clean up costs and are hoping for a more permanent solution. They face the constant threat of flash flooding and want a permanent flood control solution.

Becky and Duffy Grismanauskas say they would do nearly anything to stay in their home, but they no longer feel safe there.

"Without a doubt. There's no question about that," Duffy Grismanauskas said.

After the first round of floods last summer, the federal government designed a million-dollar barrier that would redirect flood waters away from mountain homes, but there's a catch. Clark County leaders say the federal government asked valley taxpayers to shoulder all liability for the project which could lead to almost limitless expenses if something were to go wrong. Therefore, commissioners initially rejected those terms, stopping any possible barrier construction.

"They're saying Clark County, you take on that liability. We don't know what it is, we don't know if it will happen, but you have to take it on," said Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown.

Touring the damage Friday, Governor Brian Sandoval told 8 News NOW he was open to the state taking on the cost of the liability for the project, but commissioners say they've heard no such thing.

"Two weeks ago when we met with the state, their position was no," said Brown.

Now, people the Grismanauskas' are left waiting for Clark County, the federal government and the state to reach an agreement.

"The problem was we were all ready for this channel to go in. People up here were like oh, okay, this is a good thing. Nobody was putting up fences or bridges or whatever we could do to prevent another flood. So when they dropped it on us, that they weren't going to do it, we were just stranded," Becky Grismanauskas said,

The residents want answers, they say their livelihoods are at risk.

Governor Sandoval's office released the following statement:

"This is a dangerous situation for the residents of Mt. Charleston that poses continued threats to their lives and property and requires immediate attention. Although the primary responsibility for protecting these innocent residents from further harm lies with Clark County and the federal government, the state stands ready to assist and has already engaged with County and federal officials to find a solution that protects all the affected parties. The state will continue to foster discussions on potential solutions to this public safety concern."