LAS VEGAS, NV — Intense summer storms that flooded parts of Las Vegas Thursday night — causing water to cascade from casino rooftops and pool on the carpet in a sports betting area of the the size of a stadium — were part of a regional monsoon pattern that could repeat itself into the weekend, an official with the National Meteorological Service (SNM) said on Friday.
“We are right in the middle of the busiest part,” said John Adair, a veteran meteorologist with the weather service office near Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. “It’s turning out to be quite an active monsoon season, compared to the last five years or so. There’s a lot more chance of storms developing.”
The annual weather pattern has brought a series of storms across the southwestern United States. This week, a driver was rescued from a vehicle trapped by floodwaters in the Phoenix area, and a group of young conservationists abandoned their truck in Canyon de Chelly, on the Navajo Nation, when it sank into mud and waters rose. around it.RELATED
Flash floods have inundated normally dry basins in low-lying deserts. Parts of the Hualapai Mountains in Mohave County have received up to six inches of rain in recent days, Adair said.
Although the rain is welcome in a drought-stricken region, it creates headaches in neighborhoods where wildfires have stripped the land of vegetation, which often slows the advance of water and partially absorbs it.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted a request to include in the state’s disaster declaration the effects of flooding and landslides in certain counties. affected by this year’s forest fires.
In northern Arizona, Flagstaff residents have grown accustomed to constant cell phone alerts and surrounding sirens warning of impending flooding.
Bret Henneman estimates he has about 3,500 sandbags around his home north of Flagstaff, where two wildfires burned a few months ago. His wife was taking care of the children and had the back door open two weeks ago when heavy rain fell and a few inches of water and mud entered the house.
Meanwhile, casino patrons posted videos of water falling from the ceilings at Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and from the back of a huge video screen in the hotel-casino’s gambling area. Around the center of the city. In one video, a man could be seen continuing to gamble on a slot machine as water poured down around him.
“A night we will never forget,” tweeted Derek Stevens, owner of Circa.
“The weather last night took Las Vegas by storm and we were no exception,” Stevens said Friday. “But the show must go on and I am happy to share that repairs are already being made.”