Crews warn homeless to leave the tunnels before flooding

LAS VEGAS - It doesn't take a lot of rain to send fast moving water through miles of flood channels around the Las Vegas valley. 

An 8 News NOW crew tagged along as crews warned the homeless who live in those channels about the dangers of the monsoon season.

The message was that a little bit of rain can result in huge water rises in the tunnels. Unfortunately, homeless men and women take shelter in the tunnels to avoid the heat.

The HELP of Southern Nevada crews were posting signs to alert the homeless of the dangers of staying in the tunnels.

"We'll put them up on the edges that way when they're coming in they can be warned."

Inside the tunnels, the homeless are encouraged to find higher, safer ground before the rain comes. Despite the warnings, the men go behind the makeshift tent.

Joe's been living inside the wash for the past two years.

"I was down here last year when Stephanie died. You don't even forget something like that," he said.

Joe says he barely made it out of his tent last June when flash flooding swept away his friend -- trapping her underwater.

"I'm just trying to save myself and you just see them come by. I watched everybody in my tunnel go by me, like floating, like in the water? Yeah, dogs too."

A huge risk that also puts other lives in danger

"Yeah, I understand that. That's why I'm getting out early," Joe said.

Technically, the homeless residents are trespassing, however the main concern is regarding their safety and safely evacuating the residents from the tunnels.


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