LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – In a few short hectic hours on Wednesday night, Clark County Police and Fire personnel responded to at least two separate reports of people washing away within flood channels.
As of Thursday afternoon, at least two were still missing. The total number remains unclear.
It began in the wash along Koval Lane between Flamingo Road and Sands Avenue before 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
The bottles, cups, and other leftover debris on Thursday morning are stark reminders of where police reported a man and woman got caught in the floods.
Only the man was rescued, while the Clark County Fire Department (CCFD) reported up to three others were possibly unaccounted for.
CCFD went on to say third-party witnesses claimed to see two people who matched the given descriptions climb out of the water, though CCFD personnel never physically saw them.
Then just 20 minutes later, a man was reported to be caught in the floods within a channel along Nellis Boulevard between Sahara Avenue and Vegas Valley Drive. Police said Wednesday night that efforts to rescue the man were unsuccessful.
Teresa, as she asked to be called, shared several videos of the quickly moving rain with 8 News Now that showed several people walking along the at-capacity channel with flashlights while a helicopter attempted to illuminate the area from above. She lives behind the golf course that the channel runs through.
“They said, ‘Can we borrow your flashlight? We’re looking for our friend. He got swept away with the water,’” Teresa said Thursday morning, looking at the debris left in the wash.
She described it as minutes of panic as those who live underneath Nellis within the channel screamed for their friend whom they said somehow got stuck.
“The gentleman that passed by. He said ‘It was my buddy that’s usually under the bridge. He was trying to get his stuff out,’” Teresa said. “His foot got caught into something and he was just holding onto the wash.”
As of Thursday afternoon, 8 News Now had not received an update from Clark County Police or Fire that indicated he had been found.
In a statement, Deputy Fire Chief Warren Whitney said:
“We are gathering the information to respond to all of the specific requests. CCFD appreciates your patience while we work to get you the correct and complete information to disseminate.”
Those living near and under the Nellis bridge Thursday afternoon declined to speak on camera, joining those like Teresa who are horrified by the memory.
“We’ve seen people out here, passing out flyers, like, ‘hey, get out. Rain is about to hit. Get out. These are the shelters available to you.’ But, they still come back,” Teresa said. “A lot of people from the neighborhood were out, not knowing what to do, feeling helpless. Not being able to help anyone, more than anything, was very heartbreaking.”
In total, CCSD said five engines, one heavy rescue, one rescue, and two battalion chiefs were included in the total 28 personnel responding between the two incidents.