Las Vegas Sun

May 22, 2017

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Deaths of 3 found in Las Vegas-area washes were flood-related, officials say

Thunderstorm Slams Vegas Valley

A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper stands by storm run-off at the railroad underpass on Sunset Road between Decatur Boulevard and Arville Street after a thunderstorm dropped heavy rain and hail in the area Thursday, June 30, 2016. The roadway was closed in both directions until the run-off receded. Launch slideshow »

The deaths of three people found in Las Vegas washes during and after last week's storms are being blamed on the rain, according to the Clark County Regional Flood Control District.

On Thursday, golfers at the Las Vegas National Golf Course, near Viking Road and Spencer Street, pulled out 29-year-old Stephanie White, who was carried downstream in the Tropicana Wash.

Firefighters tried to rescue her farther upstream but were unsuccessful. She had grabbed onto a rope but let go, flood control district spokeswoman Erin Neff said. White died on Friday at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

On Friday morning, Metro Police were called regarding the body of 55-year-old Sharon Nomura, found in a wash near Mandalay Bay Road and Giles Street. She drowned, the Clark County Coroner’s Office ruled.

Shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday, officers were called about the body of a man found in the Tropicana Wash, near Russell Road and Decatur Boulevard, police said.

The man has not been identified and the cities of residence of White and Nomura were not known, the coroner’s office said. Neff said the women were homeless.

The coroner’s office will determine the official cause of death for White and the man, but their deaths for now are being looked as being “flood-related,” Neff said.

About a quarter-mile southeast of Decatur, the basin level at the Tropicana Wash “rose rapidly” from about 6 1/3 feet to about 22 feet, Neff said.

Thursday's rainfall, which brought golf-ball-sized hail and 66 mph winds in some areas, broke a 1984 record and a National Weather Service gauge at McCarran International Airport read .47 inches.

The south valley, including Henderson and Mountain's Edge, experienced more than an inch of rain, the weather service said. Nearly 2 inches fell near Sunset Park.

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