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Mt. Charleston residents voice frustrations over flooding | News

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Mt. Charleston residents voice frustrations over flooding

MOUNT CHARLESTON, Nev. - People living on Mount Charleston say they are angry. Mountain residents voiced their frustrations in a meeting Wednesday night with Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown over flooding problems on the mountain.

The county wanted to install a flood control barrier, but crews didn't complete the project because of liability issues. Residents say if the county completed the work, last week's flood-related damage may not have happened.

People who attended the Wednesday night meeting say they feel commissioners have done nothing to protect them.

Some residents said they don't feel safe in their homes anymore. Homeowners say rushing flood water brought boulders the size of tables.

Last summer’s Carpenter 1 fire on Mount Charleston removed thousands of acres of vegetation that would normally absorb rain water. Storms last summer and this summer resulted in flash flooding. This year’s storms damaged 10 homes; three of them had to be condemned.

“It's running wild. It's like a freight train going off the rail. We have flows 13 feet high that just pilloried our home and took out rooms, came in one side on the south, went right through, went down the north wall and deposited six feet of debris in there, taking the washing machine, dryer like they are little Tonka toys,” said Mt. Charleston resident John Mowbray.

Clark County committed to building the 1,700-foot flood barrier, but Commissioner Brown said they couldn't legally assume liability for the project because of federal jurisdiction concerns.

He says he is in discussions with Governor Brian Sandoval and the Army Corps of Engineers to make progress on the project. There are no guarantees, however, that work will start anytime soon.

“We have asked them to show us the contract that a county government has signed off as a sponsor with the 10 requirements they asked us,” Brown said. “If we can then take that county and say this is exactly the statutes of Nevada, we go forward with it. We want that information. That's why the dialogue has continued.”

Wednesday, Clark County commissioners approved a state of emergency, but there are no guarantees for financial relief. The estimated damage is approximately $4.5 million short of what's required by FEMA for a grant.