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Flights diverted, power outages as storms hit Las Vegas

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper stands by storm run-off at the railroad underpass on Sunset Road between Decatur Boulevard and Arville Street after a thunderstorm dropped heavy rain and hail in the Las Vegas valley today. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun)

LAS VEGAS >>— The Latest on flooding after thunderstorms swept through the Las Vegas area (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

NV Energy is reporting that almost 4,700 customers were left without electricity after intense thunderstorms brought lightning, wind, hail and flooding to the Las Vegas area.

The utility company posted on its website that it was responding to scattered outages. It didn’t identify locations or say when the power would be restored.

In hard-hit Henderson, city spokeswoman Kim Becker said several vehicles stalled in one flooded intersection a southeast of McCarran International Airport.

Television images showed cars entering the crossroads with water up to their headlights.

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.

Traffic officials reported more than one lane of the U.S. 95 freeway was closed due to flooding not far from the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson.

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4:45 p.m.

Airline flights to McCarran International Airport were diverted to airports in California and Arizona while intense thunderstorms packing lightning, hail, wind and flooding swept through the Las Vegas area.

Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said 21 incoming flights were diverted before 4 p.m. Thursday to airports in California and Arizona.

Crews says some departures were delayed for more than two hours, while some other arrivals and departures continued during brief lulls in the storm.

She advised passengers to contact airlines about flight status.

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4:30 p.m.

Heavy lightning and thunderstorms have brought wind, hail, flooding and injuries in and around Las Vegas, where bustling intersections were swamped and firefighters rescued several people from flood control channels.

Clark County firefighters report that one woman was hospitalized Thursday in critical condition after she and two other people were plucked from a flooded wash near the Hard Rock Casino Hotel.

Firefighters say two other people and their dogs were rescued from another wash near busy Boulder Highway, several miles southeast of the Strip.

The National Weather Service says the heaviest rain fell in the Henderson area, where up to 1½ inch was recorded in less than an hour before 3 p.m.

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

Golf ball-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.

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2:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings for a wide area in and around Las Vegas, amid a series of intense rain storms sweeping through the area.

A bulletin issued shortly after noon Thursday warned of heavy rains amounting to nearly 2 inches in some places in the Spring Mountains.

Warnings were then expanded to include the Red Rock Canyon area, and then to the Las Vegas Strip, Henderson, and areas south and east including Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

City and county officials didn’t immediately report damage or injuries.

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1:10 p.m.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning after intense thunderstorms in mountain and canyon areas near Mount Charleston northwest of Las Vegas.

A bulletin issued shortly after noon Thursday warned of heavy rains amounting to nearly 2 inches in some places in the Spring Mountains.

It said flash flooding was expected in Kyle and Lee canyons, and said roads including U.S. 95, state highways 157 and 156, and Cold Creek Road.

The warning was expanded to include the Red Rock Canyon area about 25 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

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  • This type of weather of heavy storms, heavy rains fit the model of man made global climate change combined with normal weather patterns like El Nino. The world needs to get used to this type of weather and don’t fall for the bogus argument of just looking at point in time temperatures that might go up or go down. Las Vegas was scorching in the 100’s and now with their major rainstorms are in the 80’s. Temps are not the issue in Las Vegas, rather the destructive power of flooding like Texas, West Virginia, etc. The energy released in the form of massive amounts of rain water flowing down from a higher to lower elevations represents a massive amount of energy that was converted from thermal heat to kinetic energy. This will be the new norm. As Samidunn pointed out lucky we live Hawaii because we are surrounded be very deep and normally cool ocean water that acts like a heat sink that keeps Hawaii temps and weather pretty reasonable all years round. And with Hurricanes that form near Mexico and travel West which are influenced by Earths counterclockwise rotation, the normally cool Pacific ocean surrounding Hawaii helps to dissipate the power of the hurricanes and Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are like protective barriers that can blunt the force of Hurricanes coming from the West. Iniki was different in that it traveled West that came up North to Kauai.

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