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Thunderstorms drench Vegas area, close Nye County offices

July 26, 2021 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Thunderstorms were rumbling Monday west of the Las Vegas area, where a deluge prompted the closure of public facilities in rural Pahrump in what a county official called a bid to keep motorists off flooded roads.

About 1.7 inch (4.3 centimeters) of rain was measured in less than an hour at Nye County offices before county and town offices and courts closed, county spokesman Arnold Knightly said.

“People need to stay off the roads,” he said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

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Another storm dropped more than 1.25 inches (3.2 centimeters) of rain in mountains near Red Rock Canyon, prompting more flash flood warnings, National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Planz said.

The Summerlin neighborhood in northwest Las Vegas received more than a half-inch (1.25 centimeters), the Clark County Regional Flood Control District said.

The weather service issued a wide warning about swollen washes and arroyos was issued for an area also including Inyo and San Bernardino counties in California.

Across the region, utility and road crews worked to clear fallen trees and debris from crossroads that flooded during intense overnight monsoon rains packing lightning and damaging winds.

In Reno, the service issued a flash flood watch effective through 9 p.m. Monday for parts of east-central California and western Nevada, including Lake Tahoe, Reno and Carson City.

It includes areas recently burned by the Tamarack fire along the California-Nevada line, which could be impacted most by heavy rainfall and flooding, the service said.

Officials in Clark and Nye counties reported no serious injuries resulting from Sunday night downpours that dumped more than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain in several minutes in some spots of North Las Vegas and Henderson, filling drainage channels with walls of water.

The main regional utility, NV Energy, reported more than 14,000 customers without power shortly after storms swept through Las Vegas, but said about 22 were without electricity by noon.

In Nye County, some homes were damaged by fallen trees and Valley Electric Association crews worked to restore power to customers in Pahrump, Knightly said. Pahrump is about 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of Las Vegas.

The weather service clocked wind gusts of more than 60 mph (96 kph) in several parts of southern Nevada, including Henderson Executive Airport, which is southeast of Las Vegas, and Indian Springs, northwest of the city.

Firefighters in Henderson made about 10 swift water rescues of drivers whose vehicles stalled Sunday night in standing water at some intersections, city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said.

Clark County fire crews made two rescues Sunday night, including a woman and children from a sedan stuck in about 4 feet (1.2 meters) of running water, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Planz said weather service technicians were headed Monday to Nelson Peak, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Las Vegas, to check a report that the regional weather radar was directly struck by lightning during the Sunday night storm.

A seasonal monsoon weather pattern drawing warm moist air from the south into southern Nevada was expected to ease for several days, before beginning again at the end of the week, Planz said.