Expect the unexpected
Flash floods are common in Southern Nevada. Yes, it’s a desert out there. Sure, it hardly rains. But when it does, it pours.
In the summer monsoon months, July through September, expect sudden downpours and rapid flash flooding. Even on sunny days.
Wait out flash floods
Most storms only last a couple hours. If it’s raining and/or flash floods have been reported, stay inside. Don’t drive.
Never enter flooded roads
If you have to go somewhere, drive safely and actively avoid flooded areas. If you come upon a flooded street, stop immediately and gather your thoughts.
Turn around, don't drown. Six inches of water is enough to cause you to lose control of your vehicle. One foot of water can float most cars. Nearly half of flood deaths happen in a vehicle.
Avoid flood control facilities
Even when it's not raining, flood control facilities are no place to play. This includes detention basins, channels and washes, and storm drains. Water can flow through this network at any time. Moving at 30 mph, it takes only 6 inches of water to knock you off your feet.
FEMA categorizes it as a rapid-onset flood. A flash flood can occur quickly with little or no warning, such as during periods of extremely heavy rain.
Densely populated areas are at a high risk for flash floods. In urban areas, flash floods can fill underpasses, viaducts, parking structures, low roadsand basements.
Yes! The southwest desert is an environment of extremes, where intense rainfall and subsequent flash floods are common. Recorded reports of flooding in Clark County date back nearly 100 years.
During flood season (July–September), moist unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico is forced rapidly upward by hot air currents. The dynamics of this process often result in spectacular displays of lightning in the desert sky. Too often, they also cause severe thunderstorms with intense rainfall on steep mountain slopes and armored desert surfaces. The rainwater runs off rapidly and concentrates in the urbanized areas at lower elevations.
Even if you are not located in a designated flood zone, your area can still be subject to flooding. All subdivisions constructed after 1992 have been designed to be flood protected from a 100-year flood design flow. That is a flood that has a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. Floods greater than a 100-year flood have and will occur.
Visit the District’s Flood Zone page to find out about your parcel or home's location.
Flood insurance is available to all residents whether the property is located within a flood zone or not.
For a single family home, coverage is $250,000 for the structure and $100,000 for the contents. Policies covering damages to personal property are available to renters as well as homeowners.
The National Flood Insurance Program is backed and subsidized by the Federal government. The actual flood insurance policies, however, are available through most insurance companies. Typical homeowners insurance does not provide coverage for damages to either structures or belongings resulting from floods.
Additional information can be found on the District's Important Flood Insurance Information page.