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Report on Moapa Flood, August 11, 1941







Report of the damage caused by a flood in August 11, 1941.

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Box 4 Folder 47 Flood Control Reports and Maps for Southern Nevada 1934-1950


hln000601. John Wittwer Collection on Agriculture in Nevada, 1898-1972. MS-00181. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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MOAPA FLOOD At the request of the Supervisors of ths Moapa Soil Conservation District, the Soil Conservation made a survey of the flood damage caused by the storm of August 11, 1941. This storm was of cloud burst proportions, which is characteristic of storms during the summer months. Although ths storm was of local nature it covered quite a large area. The storm lasted for one hour and forty minutes during which time one and eighty-three hundreds inches of rain fell. Due to the barren conditions of the country on which the rain fell it readily collected into small streams and these in turn run into the larger gullies, causing The estimated flow in the Muddy River Channel was 12,000 cubic feet per second and that of the Overton Wash was 1500 cubic feet per second. Measurements were not made on any other channels although about eight large washes were running full which emptied on to farm land in the Moapa Valley. A survey was made to determine the nature and extent of the damage caused by the flood. This survey was made by contacting the farmers who owned land which was partially or wholly covered by storm water. Careful consideration was given each individual case and these in turn were summarized to give the total estimated damage for the Valley. The storm came at a time when most of the spring crops had been harvested and alfalfa was the major crop injured by the flood. Approximately seven hundred acres of cultivated land were inundated by storm waters. Only a small part of this area was in crops at the time of the flood and most of the land was level enough that very little cutting or moving of top soil took place. Some silt and sand was deposited resulting in loss The crop loss waa estimated at two hundred tons of alfalfa hay, thirty tons of corn, one thousand crates of cantaloupes, and ten acres of sudan pastures. The estimated loss to the farmer is $3,690.00. Ten acres of land has been completely ruined by the deposition of from one to five feet of sand. The top soil from forty acres more was removed and the total estimated loss to the land owners amounted to approximately $3,700.00. Other loss sustained by individuals, such as bridges, tools, roads, ditches and fences amounted to $6780.00. The total lost by Individual land owners amounted to approximately $14,170.00. It is estimated that another $15,000.00 could have been lost from crops had the storm accrued before harvesting of most of the crops. large losses were also sustained by the Union Pacific Railroad amounting to something like $12,000.00 also by the Highway Dept. and the Muddy River Irrigation Company. These losses amounted to about $4,000.00. The following table gives the estimated losses caused by the August 11, 1941, flood. land covered 700 acres Alfalfa destroyed 200 Tons Sudan Pasture destroyed 16 Acres land Destroyed 10 Acres land partially destroyed 40 Acres loss from Crops $3690.00 Lose from land $3700.00 Other losses $6780.00 Loss to Highway and Bridges $1500.00 Loss to Railway $12,000.00 Loss to Irrigation Co. Ditches $1000.00 Loss to dike along farm land $1350.00 Total Estimated Loss $30,020.00 Estimated possible crop loss on the land if flood had accrued while in crop an additional $15,000.00. The figures and estimates in this report were obtained by consulting farmers hare probably arrived at a different figure, damage in many instances can only be arrived at after attempts to raise crops on land which apparently is not seriously injured. Respectfully submitted, (Signed) Joseph N. Skousen Joseph M. Skousen October 14, 1941