Rainbow flood control berm work to start in October

The Army Corps of Engineers will start construction of a flood control berm to protect a Mount Charleston community in early October, corps officials said Thursday.

A corps survey team of at least three staff is surveying the area around the washed-out Rainbow subdivision and will be there through the Labor Day weekend, officials said. The agency’s goal is to get the project finished by the end of October.

Rainbow was hit hard by monsoon rains on July 28 that flooded homes with mud and heavily damaged public roads.

The corps was ready to start construction early June, but didn’t have a local government sponsor to assume the liability and ownership for the temporary structure through Clark County or the state.

The flood diversion project is needed for up to 10 years, as vegetation grows back from the Carpenter 1 Fire that damaged areas around the subdivision and made it more prone to flooding.

County officials cited legal concerns about the liability, and Gov. Brian Sandoval announced Monday that the state had stepped in and reached an agreement with the corps. The county isn’t involved in the agreement with the federal agency, but county officials have said they are willing to maintain the structure.

The survey work will look at the flood and see if any changes to the design of the berm are necessary. The berm’s design is about 1,950 feet long. That was changed from an initial design of 1,200 feet.

Under the agreement, the federal government will cover the cost of installation of the berm, which is almost $900,000.

Corps officials started looking at the area’s need for flood control work after the state approached the agency in late February.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 702-405-9781. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.