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Search for golf course landscaper is suspended until Thursday morning

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Steve Marcus

Search and rescue officers walk the Flamingo Wash along the Desert Rose Golf Course as they search for a missing worker Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. The worker was working in the wash and was missing after Tuesday’s rainstorm and flooding.

Updated Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 | 10:05 p.m.

Search for Missing Landscaper

Metro Search and Rescue officers search for a missing golf course worker along the Flamingo Wash near Sloan Lane Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. The worker was working in the wash and is missing after Tuesday's rainstorm and flooding. Launch slideshow »

Map of Desert Rose Golf Course

Desert Rose Golf Course

5483 Club House Drive, Las Vegas

Metro Police and volunteers suspended search efforts around 3 p.m. Wednesday for a Desert Rose Golf Course landscaper who went missing during Tuesday afternoon’s deluge.

Authorities believe the man was swept away in the wash. Police and volunteers searched through a swampy 2 1/2-mile stretch of the wash on Wednesday. Metro Police officer Bill Cassell said the search will continue shortly after daybreak on Thursday.

The man was last seen wearing an orange safety vest and operating a front-end loader at about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday near the wash when the storm hit the course near East Sahara Avenue and South Nellis Boulevard, officials said. His supervisor told him he could leave due to the weather, but when the supervisor returned, the man was gone.

One minute he was there, the next minute he was gone — that's how the man’s disappearance was described by Metro spokeswoman Laura Meltzer during a news conference Wednesday morning near the golf course.

All that was left was the front-end loader submerged in the wash, and the man’s car in the parking lot, officials said.

Tim Sutko, environmental mitigation manager for the Clark County Regional Flood Control District, said two major washes converge at the golf course grounds: the Flamingo Wash dumps into the Las Vegas Wash. At 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, just before the man’s disappearance, the U.S. Geological Survey measured 10,000 cubic feet of water per second moving through the Las Vegas Wash on the golf course, Sutko said. That’s the equivalent of about 74,800 gallons of water moving through the wash each second.

Meltzer said six Metro officers, six Metro-trained search-and-rescue volunteers and an undetermined number of other volunteers were involved in the search on the ground. A Metro air unit also was assisting in the search from the sky.

The golf course, which Meltzer described as covered in mud and debris, was closed today. Officials were trying to bring in a heavy equipment mover to lift the front-end loader and check beneath it for signs of the man, whom Metro declined to identify.

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