July and August are monsoon season in nearby Arizona, where the warm, moist air from the Gulf of California make their way up into the Desert Southwest and bring torrential rains. At times, those monsoonal formations make their way into the Las Vegas Valley, and that can lead to heavy rainfall, high winds and flash flooding. Las Vegas residents and visitors well-remember the July 2013 flash flood that swept through the Las Vegas Strip and caused a great deal of damage. But worse floods have occurred, which spurred recent flood drainage projects to divert flash flood waters. Still, having flood insurance for homes is an important concern for homeowners despite being located in the Mojave Desert.
Spring Mountains, Rocky Terrain Promote Flash Flooding
The high elevation of the Spring Mountains and Mt. Charleston, which rises to more than 11,900 feet, makes it difficult for rain clouds to pass over without spilling their contents. The steep, rocky terrain along the eastern slope of the Spring Mountains is incapable of absorbing much if any rain water, so what little falls there eventually works its way into nearby Las Vegas. If there is an inch or more of rain that falls in one or two hours, significant flash flooding can occur. And on the rare occasions when there is a heavy downpour anywhere in the vicinity, the water makes its way though Las Vegas until eventually winding up in Lake Mead and the Colorado River on its way to the Gulf of California.
Many Get Coverage from National Flood Insurance Program
Most homeowners insurance policies do not provide coverage for external flooding unless added as an endorsement for an additional monthly premium. But most homes are insured through the National Flood Insurance Program, which provides up to $250,000 in external flood insurance coverage for varying rates. Speaking with your insurance agent can help to affirm what kind of flood insurance you might have on your home and whether or not it would be a good idea to buy external flood insurance protection.
Have you or any of your neighbors every suffered damages from external flooding?