Rain causes floods, rescues in valley

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Rain pounded southern Nevada Monday, causing street flooding and prompting at least two swift water rescues.

Rain sent a river of water near Decatur Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. Many drivers made it through the flooded intersection, but one driver was stuck. Las Vegas Fire and Rescue pulled her from her car.

Fire crews were busy all day and night responding to weather-related calls.

“Throughout the day, it’s been pretty much bananas,” said Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Jon Stevenson. “We’ve had swift water rescues; obviously the traffic accidents that take place because people have a tough time driving on wet roads; but in addition to that, we run the regular medical calls, and that, by itself, can keep us busy. Add to the fact that we’ve had these smoke and odor investigations; some of them might have been caused by lightning strikes, but that will be determined at a later date. That’s just a really common phenomenon.”

Firefighters responded to a dog resort near Sahara Avenue and Rainbow Boulevard, where witnessed say lightning sparked a fire. No flames or smoke were visible from outside the building. Stevensen says the pets are safe.

“That was one of the first priorities. Everybody got on top of taking care of the pets, because as far as we’re concerned, they’re very much in high value for us to take a chance and rescue with every chance we get,” he said.

He advises that drivers stay away from flood waters and slow down during heavy rain.

8 News NOW spotted drivers plowing through floodwaters at high speeds, but also captured a few good deeds.

Jerome Saragoza helped a stranded driver move his car.

“Dude’s stuck, happened to drive by and made a u-turn. Might as well help with the community, nothing better to do,” he said.

Some people tried walking through floodwater, which is also dangerous. Rushing water can carry debris and bacteria. It can also sweep a person off his or her feet.

A homeless man, meanwhile, is lucky to be alive after he was trapped by rushing water under a bridge near Flamingo Road and Swenson Street.

Nearby witnesses heard his screams for help and called 911. Rescue crews were able to assist him to safety.

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