Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (2024)

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Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (1)

A pedestrian walks down a flooded sidewalk on Eastern Avenue south of Sahara Avenue Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ellenschmidttt

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (2)

Brian O'Neal, assistant fire chief of the Clark County Fire Department, speaks as Justin Jones, left, chairman at the Regional Flood Control District, and Steven Parrish, RFCD general manager, look on during a news conference at the Tropicana detention basin, a piece of flood control infrastructure, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (3)

Brian O'Neal, assistant fire chief of the Clark County Fire Department, speaks as Justin Jones, center seated, chairman at the Regional Flood Control District, looks on during a news conference at the Tropicana detention basin, a piece of flood control infrastructure, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (4)

The Tropicana detention basin, a piece of flood control infrastructure, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard is seen, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (5)

The Tropicana detention basin, a piece of flood control infrastructure, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard is seen, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (6)

Steven Parrish, general manager for the Regional Flood Control District, speaks during a news conference at the Tropicana detention basin, a piece of flood control infrastructure, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (7)

Justin Jones, chairman at the Regional Flood Control District, speaks during a news conference at the Tropicana detention basin, a piece of flood control infrastructure, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (8)

Steven Parrish, general manager for the Regional Flood Control District, speaks during a news conference as Justin Jones, left, chairman at the Regional Flood Control District, looks on at the Tropicana detention basin, a piece of flood control infrastructure, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (9)

The Tropicana detention basin, a piece of flood control infrastructure, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard is seen, as Steven Parrish, general manager for the Regional Flood Control District, right, speaks during a news conference, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (10)

A photograph of the Tropicana detention basin, a part of the flood control system, is displayed as Brian O'Neal, right, assistant fire chief of the Clark County Fire Department, speaks during a news conference, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (11)

A pedestrian walks down a flooded sidewalk on South Eastern Avenue Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ellenschmidttt

Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (12)

Regional Flood Control District General Manager Steven Parrish speaks during a news conference in advance of the annual monsoon season Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

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120 again? Wednesday Las Vegas heat expected to be oppressiveAnother day, another record: Las Vegas hits 119 as heat wave continuesWhen heat turns deadly: A guide to official advisories, warnings‘It’s a dry heat’: How the heat index shows how hot it feels outside

ByAlan Halaly/Las Vegas Review-Journal

June 25, 2024 - 2:48 pm

Updated June 26, 2024 - 10:27 am

Nevadans live in the driest state in the nation. But when cities like Las Vegas get rain in the summer months, it’s intense, shutting down roads, stranding people in their cars and even claiming lives.

After a wet, stormy 2023 that included Tropical Storm Hilary, the National Weather Service is predicting a noticeably weaker monsoon season in Southern Nevada, Clark County officials said at a news conference Tuesday. The season is about to begin in July, usually lasting until September.

And the county is doing what it can to keep residents safe. The Regional Flood Control District has completed about 75 percent of the stormwater upgrades it laid out in its master plan, including 110 basins that collect water as well as more than 713 miles of channels and storm drains.

Steven Parrish, the flood control district’s general manager, said the county will keep expanding its infrastructure as Southern Nevada grows. Overall, Las Vegas is keeping up with its yearly flash floods, he said.

“Those facilities did their job,” Parrish said. “They captured that water, and they carried it safely out to Lake Mead. But there are areas where we have more work to do.”

Lessons learned from Mount Charleston flooding

While the valley was spared the full fury of Hilary, the small town of Mount Charleston about 40 miles west of Las Vegas bore the brunt of flooding impacts.

Many residents didn’t have water and were unable to leave the mountains for weeks, but much of the town’s homes emerged unscathed, said Clark County assistant fire Chief Brian O’Neal, who helped coordinate the county’s response to the town’s flooding.

Staying in your home during similar storm events has to do with your personal level of preparedness, O’Neal said. In the case of Mount Charleston, the unique road system up in the Spring Mountains made leaving after the storm nearly impossible.

Regardless of where you live, it’s important to have at least 72 hours’ worth of water available and consider stocking up on nonperishable food that can be eaten without being cooked, he said.

“In order to avoid becoming a victim yourself, stay alert to the possibility of flooding and follow the guidance,” O’Neal said.

Las Vegas’ floods may only intensify

If you can, the best course of action is to stay inside during flooding and out of your car, officials said.

Failing to do so can be deadly. There were three deaths attributed to flooding last year: two homeless people and 13-year-old Ryan Taylor, who rode an inner tube and drowned, said Parrish, of the flood control district.

“I get tired of hearing: ‘Oh, we had a 100-year storm. We’re good for another 100 years,’” Parrish said. “I wish Mother Nature was that predictable.”

Chris Outler, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Las Vegas office, said that while this season may be less destructive, it only takes one storm to have a destructive effect on Southern Nevada.

The Pacific Ocean is getting warmer, which scientists have said is an effect of climate change. That can mean more hurricanes and intense storms, Outler said.

“A warmer atmosphere holds more water, which means heavier flash flood events,” he said.

Contact Alan at ahalaly@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlanHalaly on X.

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Monsoon season is near. Here’s what to expect in Las Vegas (2024)

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