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County looks for relief for homes, businesses in wake of fall flooding

Two major storms brought flooding and death to the east side of the Las Vegas Valley Aug. 22 and Sept. 11. Two months later, homeowners, business owners and Clark County officials are still trying to pick up the pieces.

"After it’s all been looked over, there was only about $1.6 (million) to $1.7 million in damage to county facilities," said Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, whose District E includes much of the affected areas. "Therefore, we don’t qualify for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) relief. We will qualify to apply for what’s left over in the state disaster fund, but there’s only about $500,000 left in that."

The county will have to pay for any repairs that can’t be funded through other means, she said.

Those damage numbers take into account only county property. Giunchigliani said the floods damaged around 73 homes, many of which weren’t technically in the flood plain and did not have flood insurance.

"None of them were flooded severely enough by federal guidelines to qualify for flood relief," Giunchigliani said. "They all had less than 2 feet of water on the ground floor."

To James Rompel, who lives adjacent to the Desert Rose Golf Course, 5483 Club House Drive, it certainly looked like more than enough of a flood.

"From the time it started coming into my house until the time it was nearly 2 feet deep was only 20 minutes," he said. "I took pictures of my cars out on the street nearly completely submerged."

Giunchigliani said that at the suggestion of a constituent, she asked Republic Services if it could provide large trash containers for the residents who were burdened with removing sodden rugs and flood-damaged household belongings.

"They stepped up to the plate and provided a bunch of containers at no charge," Giunchigliani said. "I think they had two or three in the neighborhood that were filled and removed eight or 10 times."

She said Republic Services also provided large trash containers for the Promenade shopping center at 4440 S. Maryland Parkway, which also received significant flooding.

"They were under more than 2 feet of water there, so at least they qualify for a (Small Business Administration) loan," Giunchigliani said. "I think it’s possible that homeowners who were renting out their houses that were flooded might qualify for those loans, too."

Assistance for flood-damaged homes and businesses also came from SHARE, a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by business executives dedicated to providing affordable housing for individuals in need.

"We’ve reached out to and helped the Promenade businesses get back up and running," said SHARE president Arnold Stalk.

"The county asked us to help out with the Stonegate neighborhood, and we’ve reached out to the homeowners association, but we haven’t had a lot of response to our offer to help there yet."

Stalk said the organization is always looking for people to help and people who can lend a hand.

"SHARE stands for Supportive Housing and Resources for the Elderly, but it’s really a universal nonprofit," Stalk said.

"We want to make it known to all the emergency agencies in the valley that we’re available to help out in future emergencies, and we know we’re going to have them."

Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at ataylor@viewnews.com or 702-380-4532.

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