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July 8th is 20-year anniversary of 100-year flood in Las Vegas

What has changed since then to keep you safe?
Posted: 7:35 AM, Jul 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-08 21:42:39-04

July 8 is the 20th anniversary of the historic 100-year flood in Las Vegas.

It was a major flash-flooding event in 1999 that caused an estimated $20 million in damage in the valley.

The rain began around 11 a.m. July 8. The storm started on the west side of the valley and moved slowly towards the center. The storm dumped billions of gallons of rain on the valley in a little over 3 hours, most of it within just 90 minutes

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The Flamingo Wash was unable to handle the rush of water and it began spilling into the Miracle Mile mobile home park on Boulder Highway. Three mobile homes were washed away and others were severely damaged.

Malls were closed and thousands of gallons of water poured into the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. People were rescued from roofs of their homes and from vehicles that became trapped in the flood waters. There were more than 150 swift-water rescues that day.

It also killed 2 people. One woman was killed in a crash and a man's body was pulled out of the Flamingo Wash after the storm.

It was so bad that President Bill Clinton declared a federal disaster for the Las Vegas area.

It's that time of year when similar storms could hit the area again, but the Clark County Regional Flood Control Office has taken precautions against something like the 100-year flood happening again.

Erin Neff with the Regional Flood Control Office says, "We have 650 miles of channels, 100 detention basins and we are much more protected from flooding 20 years ago."

The district is also debuting a virtual reality experience letting you drive through flood waters to give you a feel of what it is like.

You can come down to the Regional Flood Control District's building downtown to try the virtual reality experience or you can watch the video on your phone or computer at FloodVR.com.