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District completes Mount Charleston Storm Water Diversion Project

Published July 9, 2015

MT. CHARLESTON, Nev. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District formally notified the public sponsors of the Mount Charleston Storm Water Diversion Project's completion July 2.

The project began when the State of Nevada requested the Corps' help under Public Law 84-99, Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies. A fire in July 2013 destroyed nearly 27,000 acres in the Springs Mountain National Recreation Area leading to extensive erosion and property damage during the subsequent monsoon season.

Anne Hutton, the LA District's chief of Emergency Management explained that the project was made possible through a provision of PL 84-99 that allows the Corps to provide technical and direct assistance in advance of a flood event when we can show an imminent threat of unusual flooding. 
 
It hasn't taken long for the project to start returning dividends.
 
"As I write this [July 7] the area is under a Flash Flood Warning," said Nevada Department of Transportation District Engineer Mary A. Martini. "The residents are relieved that the diversion channel will prevent the type of flooding the subdivision experienced on Rainbow Canyon Road in 2013."
 
"We had a horrendous storm last night," said local resident Rebecca Grismanauskas. "At a little after 10 there was the sound of a train-like noise coming from behind our house. It of course was the flood channel doing what it was designed to do."

"Residents understand the potential still exists for an event that is greater than the diversion channel capacity," Martini added.

The project is designed for a 25-year rainfall event. An event which has a 4 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.