Published Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010 | 5:29 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010 | 5:27 p.m.
While the weather in Las Vegas was sunny and in the upper 50s today, the risk for avalanches from recent heavy snow on Mount Charleston was upgraded this morning from an advisory to a warning, prompting Metro police to go door-to-door to help residents evacuate. Police made contact with 18 residents, Clark County officials said.
There were three snow slides on the mountain overnight, which occurred in the Echo and Cathedral subdivisions, Clark County officials said. Residents on the mountain were being “strongly urged” to leave their homes and go somewhere safe.
No injuries were reported in the slides.
The American Red Cross has a shelter available for Mount Charleston residents and their pets at Bilbray Elementary School, 9370 Brent Lane, in the Northwest Valley. The shelter opened Wednesday night.
Kyle Canyon Road (State Route 157) and Lee Canyon Road (State Route 156) are clear and travel restrictions have been lifted. Much of the mountain is still without power.
Meanwhile, after several days of steady rain — including a daily record of 1.01 inches Wednesday at McCarran International Airport — Las Vegas is finally getting some sunshine today.
However, the National Weather Service said today a flood warning remains in effect until 11:30 p.m. for the Virgin River in northeastern Clark County in Nevada and north central Mohave County in Arizona and for the Beaver Dam Wash in far northwest Mohave County.
A flood warning is also in effect through this evening for southeast Lincoln County, the weather service said.
State Routes 159, which was closed Wednesday is open today. State Routes 157 and 158 are also open, but only to residential traffic, said Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Chelita Rojas.
Clark County announced several road closures throughout the region. Elbow Canyon Road, in the Bunkerville Area; Bonnie Springs Road; Arroyo Canyon Road in Blue Diamond; Farm Road at Rainbow Boulevard; Oliver Street between Ingram Avenue and McDonald Avenue in Moapa Valley; the Echo Subdivision at Mount Charleston; and Cooper Crossing in Overton are closed.
Valley of Fire Road East of I-15 to State Route 169, which was closed earlier today, is now open.
Las Vegas city officials announced that their crews have been working to pick up debris on streets. Officials warned drivers to be wary of potholes caused by the winter storm.
The city announced no road closures, but urged drivers to be cautious on Grand Teton Drive east of Durango Drive, where crews are making repairs.
The 13-Mile Scenic Drive, visitor center, Red Spring and overlook on State Route 159 at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area will be closed all day today due to debris on the road from flooding, according to the Bureau of Land Management. However, they are expected to be open normal business hours on Friday.
Meanwhile, NV Energy crews continued today trying to restore power to about 300 households on Mount Charleston, which received heavy snow during the last two days.
NV Energy spokesman Mark Severts said crews made progress in most areas but could not access Echo or Cathedral areas due to the avalanche warning. Severts said an update was expected sometime in the evening.
Crews were taken off Mount Charleston shortly before sunset Wednesday night due to an avalanche warning, said Severts. The crews did not return to the mountain after dark, he said, because it would have been unsafe.
“We were not going to send a crew into harms’ way unless we got the go-ahead from Clark County,” Severts said. Yesterday, he said, the crews didn’t make as much progress as they’d hoped due to the deep snow and severe weather conditions.
“It’s nice to see the sun out,” he said. “If we get a good day, we can make great progress.”
Severts said it will take at least three more days for energy to be restored to the mountain.
A few showers will be seen over northwest Arizona today as the strong low that crossed the area on Wednesday continues to shift east, the weather service said.
Dry conditions are then expected across the area into Christmas Day as a weak ridge of high pressure moves over the region, forecasters said.
However, another weaker storm will push into the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains Saturday night and across the region on Sunday, once again producing a chance of rain and snow in the region, forecasters said.
Las Vegas set a rainfall record on Wednesday, receiving 1.01 inches of rain for the day at McCarran International Airport, the official reporting station for the city. The old record at McCarran for Dec. 21 was .65 of an inch, set in 1945.
Most of the rain stopped by about 4 p.m. at McCarran. Since midnight, the airport received .01 of an inch by 5 a.m. today.
At 4:56 a.m. today, the temperature at McCarran was 48 degrees. The normal low for today's date is 36 degrees. The record low was 11 degrees, set in 1990.
Around the valley just before 5 a.m., temperatures were 48 degrees at North Las Vegas Airport, 47 degrees at Nellis Air Force Base and 44 degrees at Henderson Executive Airport.
At 12:15 p.m. today, the temperature at North Las Vegas Airport was 54 degrees, at Nellis Air Force Base it was 54 degrees, and it was 55 degrees at the Henderson Executive Airport. The temperature was 56 degrees at McCarran Inernational Airport. The normal low for today's date is 36 degrees. The record low was 11 degrees, set in 1990.
Temperatures in the valley were to reach a high of 58 degrees by 1 p.m., forecasters said. The normal high for today's date is 56 degrees and the record high was 74 degrees, set in 1955.
Temperatures are expected to drop to 48 degrees by 6 p.m., to 44 degrees by 9 p.m. and to 46 degrees by midnight, forecasters said.
Friday's morning low will be 44 degrees and Friday's high will climb to 57 degrees, they said.