Heavy rain and hail pounds Las Vegas valley causing flash flooding, swift water rescues


Heavy lightning and thunderstorms brought wind, hail, flooding and injuries in and around the Las Vegas valley Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued the severe thunderstorm and flash flood warning for western Clark County. 

The severe thunderstorm warning was in effect until 1:30 p.m.  The flash flood warning for northwestern Clark County is in effect until 6:45 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, the Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing quarter-size hail and damaging winds that were more than 60 mph.  Photos attached to this article sent to 8 News NOW by viewers shows mounds of quarter and nickel-sized hail throughout the southwestern part of the valley.

The radar also indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the north facing slopes of the Spring Mountains.  This storm located in Red Rock Canyon starting by moving northeast at 5 mph. However, another severe storm was located on Kyle Canyon Road near Mt. Charleston.

At 1 p.m., the National Weather Service says over one inch of rain had already fallen in some locations.

Flash Flooding and swift water rescues

Flash flooding was also predicted across the valley because the water from the rain drains downward towards U.S. 95.  Speaking of U.S. 95, three of the southbound lanes of the highway near Stephanie Street, had to be shut down due to flooding.

Police and firefighters helped get drivers and passengers from some vehicles, while public works crews closed some intersections and roadways due to water and debris.  State Road 159 had to be closed while crews worked to clean up flood debris.

Other impacted roadways included Kyle Canyon Road, Lee Canyon Road, and Cold Creek Road.

Fire crews said they had to conduct three different swift water rescues Thursday.

Around 3:49 p.m. the Clark County Fire Department responded to a swift water incident in a wash near the Hard Rock Casino Hotel. Firefighters were able to rescue two people from the wash.

A third person was swept by the rain through the wash. However, golfers at the National Golf Course were able to save the victim who was in cardiac, respiratory arrest.  She was transported to Desert Springs Hospital in critical condition. 

The Associated Press reports the woman was in critical condition after she and two other people were plucked from a flooded wash.

At 3:50 p.m. Clark County Fire firefighters responded to a swift water rescue at 3642 Boulder Highway. CCFD says firefighters were able to rescue two people and their dogs from the wash.

A little after 4:45 p.m. emergency officials were notified of a person trapped in flood waters at Desert Inn Road and Hollywood Boulevard, so crews had to conduct a swift water rescue in the area.

Thunder and lightning

Lightning caused a two-alarm fire to spark in the southwest part of the valley.  According to Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, who assisted Clark County Fire in fighting the blaze, a home located at 6190 Meadowgrass Lane caught fire after lightning struck it.

The weather possibly caused a massive power outage that affected NV Energy customers.  According to the company’s website, more than 4,700 people are without power. 

The outages were scattered throughout Henderson and the southeastern part of the valley.  NV Energy’s website reported the biggest areas affected were near Russell Road and Stephanie Street and Russell and Sandhill roads.

Rain and hail

The National Weather Service says the heaviest rain fell in the Henderson area, where up to 1 1/2 inch was recorded in less than an hour before 3 p.m.  In hard-hit Henderson, city spokeswoman Kim Becker said several vehicles stalled in one flooded intersection a southeast of McCarran International Airport.

Red Rock Canyon in the west had more than an inch of rain.

Golfball-sized hail was reported southwest of the Strip, and quarter-sized hail near McCarran International Airport, where wind gusts were clocked at more than 50 mph.

Delay and cancelations at McCarran International Airport

Bustling winds and rainy weather delayed flights coming in and out of McCarran International Airport for hours. The gate hold was eventually lifted at 6:20 p.m. 

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