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Las Vegas, other parts of Nevada swept up in powerful winds

September 8, 2020 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Extremely strong winds whipped up weather hazards Tuesday in Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada.

Nearly 4,500 NV Energy customers lost power shortly before 8 a.m., the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Around 1,500 of those customers were in central Las Vegas. Another 1,245 in the central corridor around U.S. Highway 95 near Jones Boulevard also had no power.

The National Weather Service issued an advisory that Las Vegas may see wind gusts as high as 55 mph (88.5 kph) until 11 p.m. But gusts may be even stronger near the Colorado River.

So far, winds out by McCarran International Airport have gone as high as 45 mph (72 kph).

Forecasters say those winds may help push out smoke from the California wildfires that is lingering in the air. However, the winds could give Nevada its own fire danger.

The National Weather Service is also cautioning the public about a dust storm warning for a stretch of Highway 93 between Caliente and Crystal Springs.

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Las Vegas fire officials say the wind has already knocked down a tree and a utility pole, causing a power outage on one street.

One positive is the winds have brought temperatures in Las Vegas down considerably.

In northern Nevada, air quality around Reno and Carson City improved Tuesday from hazardous to an “unhealthy level,” the Reno Gazette Journal reported. Meteorologists say winds there have kicked up dust particles from dry lake beds.