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Why Does the LINQ Parking Lot Flood?
Today, it rained in Las Vegas. That means the Linq parking lot flooded…Again. Like clockwork, the parking lot floods as it has since its days as the Imperial Palace. We all know it happens, and are constantly reminded that “It’s supposed to work that way” but why the hell doesn’t the issue get fixed?
The LINQ, formerly the Imperial Palace, was built smack dab on top of a natural feature known as the Flamingo Wash. Essentially a waterway that drains water from the Las Vegas valley toward Lake Mead. The wash, once an above ground stream, now runs through man made tunnels beneath Interstate 15, Caesars Palace and the Vegas Strip to LINQ where it “daylights” or empties out in the first level of the parking garage.
The water flows through the LINQ parking garage (stranding any cars parked in the upper levels), down LINQ’s driveway and into a duct behind the ramp that whisks the water away. Once the rain stops, the LINQ floodwaters generally clear pretty quickly and its back to business as usual. Generally, only parking operations are affected and the rest of the business goes on as it always would. The crazy thing is, the system was designed to do exactly this.
Why don’t they fix it? A Las Vegas Sun article dated April 6, 2004 quoted a spokesman for the Clark County Public Works Dept. As saying they “have “highly encouraged” the hotel to make major structural improvements to prevent such flooding, and the hotel has declined to do so.” The Imperial Palace public relations manager at the time said that IP (Now LINQ) hadn’t identified an “engineering solution that would be viable” and that “All we can do, it seems, is just monitor the flood situation and look out for everybody”.
That’s where we stand today – Clear that bad boy out every time it starts to rain.
The bottom line is that there doesn’t appear to be a feasible fix until LINQ is imploded and something new is erected in its place. It’s not a big deal, the water is designed to flow through the first level of LINQ’s parking ramp and into the Winnick Avenue Grate and then clear out. It’s a bone headed and inconvenient design but generally there is minimal damage to LINQ and parking lot traffic is (usually) cleared out before the waters rage.
In the meantime, treat LINQ parking garage flooding as another free Las Vegas attraction, right up there with the Bellagio Fountains and the Mirage Volcano.