Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2017

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Lightning sparks building fire as storms drench Las Vegas


Richard Brian, Richard Brian Photography

Lightning flashes over Las Vegas on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, in this photograph taken from Sirius Avenue and Valley View Boulevard.

Updated Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 | 10:37 p.m.

Rain on the Strip

A woman walks during a downpour on the Strip outside the Venetian in Las Vegas on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Building fire

A firefighter looks over a hole in a mansard roof after lightning struck an office building at 2785 E. Desert Inn Road on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. City of Las Vegas and Clark County fire units responded to the fire. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

A US Airways jet is seen during a rainstorm at McCarran International Airport on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011.

A band of storms that moved over the Las Vegas Valley this afternoon drenched much of the area and brought a lightning strike that damaged a commercial building.

The Clark County Fire Department responded at 3:06 p.m. to a two-story building at 2785 E. Desert Inn Road. Investigators said lighting struck the building, which started a fire on the roof.

About 50 people were evacuated from the complex as a precaution, fire officials said. One person was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene but refused to be taken to the hospital, officials said.

Damage was confined mainly to the roof. Damage was estimated at between $50,000 to $100,000, according to fire officials.

More than 1,000 electricity customers were without power at one point due to the stormy weather.

About 4 p.m., a distribution line in the Flamingo Road and Maryland Parkway area was affected, while scattered outages were reported in the northwest valley, an NV Energy spokesman said.

Crews will be working into the evening to restore power, officials said.

The weather has caused a number of delays for departing and arriving flights at McCarran International Airport, spokesman Chris Jones said.

Some of the delays are from regular weather concerns, although some planes are unable to take off because crews had to stop refueling at 2:30 p.m. due to the frequency of lighting strikes in the area, Jones said. The fueling restrictions ended about 4:15 p.m.

Passengers should check flight statuses with their airline or on McCarran’s website before going to the airport, Jones said.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service said storms developed between Mountain Pass and Primm during the early afternoon, then reached the west side of Las Vegas and Spring Mountains before extending over much of the valley.

Forecasters this afternoon reported light rain and thunder at McCarran International Airport, which had recorded 0.05 inches of rain through 4 p.m., and no additional rain through 10:30 p.m.

An area of low pressure approaching the California coast is responsible for the storms, forecasters said.

Temperatures in the valley were to rise today to about 90 degrees today in Las Vegas. The normal high for today's date is 86 degrees and the record high was 99 degrees, reached in 1987, 1980 and 1947.

Tuesday's morning low will be about 65 degrees and Tuesday's high will climb to only 73 degrees, forecasters said.

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