Las Vegas flooding tears through casinos, parking garages on the Strip


Monsoonal rain swept through downtown Las Vegas on Thursday night, pelting casino carpets on the Strip through leaky roofs and rushing through a parking garage that looked more like a white-water rapids course.

Videos shared on social media showed rainwater cascading off a video board and covering the floor of the sportsbook at the Circa Casino and Resort; heavily dripping light fixtures at Caesars Palace; Planet Hollywood getting drenched; and floodwaters surging through the floor of the garage at the Linq hotel. One gamer at the Fremont Hotel and Casino kept playing right through the deluge.

The Weather Service in Las Vegas warned of wind gusts approaching 70 mph, urging Twitter followers to “take shelter now!” Las Vegas Fire and Rescue tweeted that it responded to 330 calls for service, mostly related to weather, and rescued seven people in swift water.

Multiple intersections were flooded. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported more than 7,000 customers were facing power outages after 10 pm

Water poured into casinos and flooded roads after monsoonal rain in Las Vegas on July 28. (Video: Storyful)

Instead of seeing into the desert terrain, storm water tends to accumulate in Las Vegas, meaning relatively little precipitation can lead to flooding.

The monsoon-triggered storms prompted the National Weather Service to issue both severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings Thursday night. Radar showed a narrow but intense corridor of storms that swept into Vegas around 8:30 pm local time from the north.

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Harry Reid International Airport received 0.32 inches of rain — around its average amount for the entire month of July — while “a couple pockets of town picked up over an inch,” the Weather Service wrote.

Thursday marked the city’s second night of monsoonal storms, with more expected across the Southwest, according to the National Weather Service.

Summer in Nevada has been marked by drought; water levels at Lake Mead have reached their lowest point since 1937, according to NASA, exposing three sets of human remains in the reservoir since May.

‘Where there’s bodies, there’s treasure’: A hunt as Lake Mead shrinks

On the other side of the country, disastrous flooding in Eastern Kentucky has killed at least 16 people since Wednesday. Historic rainfall around St. Louis on Tuesday led to flash flooding that killed one person. Both downpours are considered 1-in-1,000 year rain events.

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