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September 2, 2014

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Press Release

Flash Flood Potential Could Bring Fire Debris to Northwest

Published on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 (10:17 a.m.)

With monsoonal moisture back in the region this weekend the potential exists for scattered thunderstorms that may create problems for motorists and residents miles away from the source of the rain.

The Carpenter 1 fire on Mount Charleston has dramatically altered the terrain and ground conditions above the Las Vegas Valley. Normally, vegetation absorbs rainfall, reducing runoff. The Carpenter 1 fire and firefighting activity near the canyons have left parts of the area charred, barren and unable to absorb water.

Flooding after a fire is often more severe as debris and ash can run down into our regional flood control system. This occurred in the area of Grand Teton and Hualapai after mountain storms July 12.

“This water is not safe to go in period,” said Metro Police Officer Bill Cassell. “Floodwater is already dangerous, but when you add the ash and soot from the mountains, it becomes exponentially more hazardous. Just a few inches of swift water can take a car or SUV in a matter of seconds. If you’re driving and spot water on the street, turn around immediately.”

Residents are advised to be flood safe. Stay out of channels and washes and don’t drive through standing water on the street.

The Regional Flood Control District has a new FloodSpot app available for free download on iPhone and Android. The app features real time weather and flood info and allows users to post pictures of problem areas and report clogged storm drains.

“This app can help you avoid problem areas before you even get in your car,” said Regional Flood Control spokeswoman Erin Neff. “There’s also a game for kids to play. We want them playing with our app. We don’t want them playing in any part of the flood control system.”

The flood control system is designed to move water away from homes and into the conveyance channels. A $15 million construction project to capture more runoff in the area of Grand Teton is scheduled to start later this year and should be completed by late 2014.

For real time rain gauge and radar information click on rainfall maps at www.regionalflood.org.

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