Record-breaking rain drenched Las Vegas throughout the weekend, causing flooding and more than a hundred crashes on the roads.
Flash flood warnings were issued Saturday, when 0.81 inch of rain was recorded at the National Weather Service’s official measuring site at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. That handily beat Sin City’s previous record for the day, which was set at 0.17 inch in 1943, said Andrew Gorelow, a meteorologist.
It now also ranks as the third-highest total amount of rain ever for a single day for the month of April.
“April is one of our driest months of the year,” Gorelow said. “We only average 0.15 (inch) for the average month (total).”
Sunday also broke the day’s record with 0.14 inch of rain, washing out the previous record of 0.13 inch set in 1943. Gorelow said the rain was caused by a low pressure system that had picked up a lot of moisture on the way in from Southern California.
There’s a 40 percent chance of more showers Monday after 11 a.m. before it clears out by Tuesday and temperatures return to the upper 70s. That will be a welcome reprieve for emergency crews who slogged through the weekend.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that the Nevada Highway Patrol responded to 127 crashes, including seven hit-and-run incidents Saturday. Most were caused by a single vehicle hydroplaning. A total of 43 injuries and 77 cases of property damage were noted.
The Clark County Fire Department also rescued seven people caught in the flooding Saturday. Four adults believed to be homeless were rescued near the washes along Dean Martin Drive, including one man south of Tropicana Avenue and three others found north of Flamingo Road. One was hospitalized for a minor leg injury.
Two adults and an infant child were also rescued from their vehicles stuck in standing water just east of the Strip. The Vegas-based fire department also responded to flooding in Warm Springs, about 200 miles north, to assist a mobile home area. People in four houses found themselves surrounded by flood water for about four hours Saturday evening until the water receded to safer levels around 8 p.m.
The homes were raised so no significant damage was reported.
“They had to sit and watch the water go by,” said Larry Haydu, Clark County’s assistant fire chief.
In northern Nevada, a recent bout of rainfall brought better news. Lake Tahoe’s water level hit its natural rim for the first time in 10 months, with National Weather Service reporting that the lake is now over its rim by half an inch.
The lake last reached its natural rim in June 2015. Tahoe hasn’t spilled over into the Truckee River since before October 2014. Lake Tahoe had hit a two-year low this past winter. It has been projected to continue rising this spring thanks to above-average snowpack levels.