LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The valley experienced a record-setting Valentine's Day soaking but anyone who has lived in Clark County for several years knows it could have been much worse.
According to the National Weather Service in Las Vegas, 1.11 inches of rain fell at McCarran International Airport as of 7 p.m., which shattered the previous record for the day set in 1980.
All of the rain did cause some issues, including the closure of Las Vegas Boulevard at Cheyenne, 4 water rescues from flood channels, and a closure of Charleston Boulevard west of 215, but in a historical context, Las Vegas was largely spared from a major flooding event thanks to decades of planning and preparation.
"I live out a Calico Basin and just a half mile up before the turn off, it's just washed out," said Jason Williams was he was trying to get home Thursday evening.
Williams lives in an area near the Red Rock visitors center that is not as protected as other parts of Clark County.
"I mean, when you can't get to your house, it's kind of hard, but if you're a tourist, you just come back the next day," said Williams.
Williams eventually made it home by driving more than an hour out of his way.
"We get calls, people buy homes in the far far northwest and there is street flooding there, but we haven't finished every piece of the puzzle yet," said Erin Neff with the Regional Flood Control District.
Neff said since the Regional Flood Control District was formed in 1985, 619 miles of flood channels and 93 detention basins have been constructed, or about 75 percent of the master flood control plan.
There are 34 more basins and 200 additional miles of channels yet to be built.
"Las Vegas keeps growing and we add new projects every couple of years because people keep moving here, housing developments keep getting built, so we need about 30 more years to build," said Neff.
Neff adds about 100 million dollars are spent each year on flood control projects which is funded by a tiny fraction of sales tax.
Seven more projects are currently in the works for 2019.
Since 1988, $1.84 billion has been spent on flood control by the Regional Flood Control District.