Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2014

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Teens rescued after floodwaters sweep them into wash

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L.E. Baskow

Flooding still continues due to recent heavy rains leading from a wash over the sidewalk and down West Grand Teton Drive near North Palm Grove Lane on Monday, August 4, 2014.

Updated Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 | 5:12 p.m.

West Grand Teton Drive Flooding

Heavy rains have caused serious flooding along West Grand Teton Drive at the intersection of North Tenaya Way on Monday, August 4, 2014. Launch slideshow »

More than an inch of rain fell in just 15 minutes west of the Las Vegas Strip this afternoon, and two teens were rescued after they were swept down a wash by rushing floodwaters in the Spring Valley area, officials said.

The teens had been playing too close to the wash about 11:30 a.m. when they lost their footing and fell into the water, Metro Police Lt. Jeff Hewes said.

The children, a 16-year-old female and a 13-year-old male, had already been pulled from the water by the time police and firefighters arrived, Hewes said.

The male was dragged about 100 feet by the rushing waters, but both children were uninjured, Hewes said.

The southwest portion of the valley, which includes Rhodes Ranch and Mountain’s Edge, is under a flash-flood warning until 3:45 p.m. and from the Las Vegas Strip to downtown until 5:15 p.m., the National Weather Service said.

Heavy rains fell west of the Strip about 2:15 p.m., and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue reported heavy rain downtown with slight street flooding at Charleston Boulevard and Main Street. The storm was moving north, causing showers along U.S. 95 from Centennial Drive to Indian Springs, as well as in the Nellis Boulevard area, National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Lericos said.

Overnight, meanwhile, thunderstorms pounded the Las Vegas area, dumping up to 2 inches of rain in some areas, washing out roads and causing a landslide on Mount Charleston.

Storms moved into the valley about 10 p.m. Sunday night, dumping 0.3 to 0.5 inches of rain over most of the valley, said Chris Stumpf, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Las Vegas.

Portions of the far west side were among the hardest hit, including the Red Rock Canyon area with 1 to 2 inches of rain and Centennial Hills with about an inch, Stumpf said.

As of 5 p.m., the southbound lanes of U.S. 95 were closed between Snow Mountain and Kyle Canyon Road as a result of heavy flooding, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson said.

Metro Police sent search and rescue teams to the area of U.S. 95 and Lee Canyon Road after they received reports that several cars, including an occupied bus, had been trapped by floodwaters, Metro Officer Laura Meltzer said.

The passengers of the bus were able to safely evacuate, she said.

There were also reports of overturned cars on the side of the road, but no injuries have been reported.

The Clark County Fire Department sent firefighters to the area of Rainbow Boulevard and Hacienda Avenue around 2:30 p.m. to rescue nine people whose cars were stuck in floodwaters, spokesman John Steinbeck said.

No injuries were reported, and no one was taken to the hospital.

Clark County officials reported minor erosion on Rainbow Canyon Boulevard on Mount Charleston and that Harris Springs Road was washed out Saturday morning and then again on Sunday night. A landslide was reported on Kyle Canyon Road, which has since been cleared, and heavy debris was covering Scottie Road, which is now open, officials said.

Streets in Sandy Valley and Goodsprings southwest of Las Vegas also were impacted, county officials said.

Arroyo Road off Highway 159 in Blue Diamond was covered with water and closed, officials said.

Click to enlarge photo

A pedestrian attempts to lean away from the wake of a passing car after an afternoon downpour temporarily turned Charleston Boulevard into a rushing river on Monday afternoon.

Portions of Grand Teton Drive east of U.S. 95 were flooded, and motorists were asked to avoid Grand Teton between Buffalo Drive and Rainbow Boulevard and to use Farm Road as an alternate route.

Water was spilling onto the street from the Kyle Canyon Detention Basin, said Kelsey Hand, spokeswoman for the Clark County Regional Flood Control District. The basin is not failing or overloaded, but pipes on Grand Teton that would normally divert water underground are not fully installed yet, causing water to gush onto the road, Hand said.

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area east of Las Vegas also experienced flooding, causing road closures, damage and debris. Kingman Wash Access Road and Temple Bar Access Road in Arizona and Nevada State Route 165, which leads to Nelson's Landing and Placer Cove, were closed.

The storms and clouds have brought a respite from Las Vegas’ normally scorching summer heat.

The high temperature for today is normally 104 degrees and the low 81. Today, however, the high was expected to reach only 90 degrees, and the low this morning was 69. On Sunday, temperatures peaked at 86 degrees.

Sun reporter Adwoa Fosu contributed to this report.

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