Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2017

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Heavy winds topple trees, fan fire and leave thousands without power


L.E. Baskow

The effect of strong winds could be seen at the Nevada Gay Rodeo’s annual Bighorn Rodeo Saturday, May 10, 2014.

Updated Tuesday, May 13, 2014 | 2:05 p.m.

Billboard Falls on Jake’s Bar

Pedestrians pass by Jake's Bar on Eastern Avenue by Sahara Avenue as workers remove a billboard from the top of the bar Sunday, May 11, 2014. High winds apparently caused the the billboard to fall on the bar late Saturday night. Launch slideshow »

Winds Move Gay Rodeo Events

Strong winds forced the Nevada Gay Rodeo's annual Bighorn Rodeo to move events to its host hotel, Alexis Park, Saturday, May 10, 2014. Launch slideshow »

Howling north winds slammed the Las Vegas Valley overnight, toppling trees, fanning a downtown fire and knocking out power for thousands.

The National Weather Service on Saturday issued a wind warning that has since been downgraded in intensity but remains in effect through 2 p.m. today. Forecaster Barry Pierce said strong winds may return Tuesday.

Powerful gusts kicked in around dusk and peaked at about 65 mph, hurling lawn furniture in the valley and sending canopies flying outside Planet Hollywood, Pierce said. No wind-related injuries were reported.

The bad weather affected several outdoor events -- the annual San Gennaro Feast shut down about an hour earlier than usual and a Las Vegas 51s game was suspended in the 8th inning in a 5-5 tie against Tacoma.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue responded to nine calls overnight for downed electrical lines. About 18,000 people lost power around the valley due to the wind, Pierce said.

The fire department rushed to a vacant house fire that erupted about 5:40 p.m. in the 200 block of S. 17th Street. Wind-whipped flames reached the yard before a crew arrived to tackle the fire, which began inside the kitchen. The blaze caused an estimated $50,000 in damage. Officials don't know what sparked it.

Dry, windy conditions fuel fires, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said, urging people to properly discard cigarettes and to use caution when cooking outdoors.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story contained inaccurate information. The Nevada Gay Rodeo's annual Bighorn Rodeo carried on as scheduled, according to a publicist for the event. | (May 13, 2014)

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