Massive dust, wind and rain storm hits Southern Nevada, causing mass power outage

A massive dust, wind and rain storm rolled through Southern Nevada on the evening of August 11, 2018, knocking down trees and power poles, sparking fires and triggering flash flood warnings. More than 60 000 customers were left without power.

The National Weather Service sent out smartphone alerts for severe thunderstorm around 20:00 local time. Shortly after, the storm moved in with winds in excess of 96 km/h (60 mph) and gusts to 114 km/h (71 mph).

The Las Vegas Fire Department reported downed power lines and power poles across the city and a few outside fires due to downed wires. Department spokesman Tim Szymanski warned the public to avoid downed wires and to take shelter indoors.

In addition, a lightning strike set at least one building on fire. 

As of 22:10 local time, more than 62 500 NV Energy customers were without power in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, as well as the Laughlin area. As 05:00 local time, August 12, there were still 35 000 customers without power.

The storm also forced the Las Vegas 51s to suspend their game at Cashman Field. 

McCarran International Airport reported a delay overage of about 25 minutes, with inbound flights held at least until 22:30. Arriving flights were delayed as well. 

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“Today will be another day to keep up your eyes to the sky,” NWS Las Vegas said. “Storms capable of producing strong winds, hail, flooding and dust issues will be possible this afternoon and evening.”

Featured image credit: Stardust Fallout Productions @stardustfallout 

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