Las Vegas Sun

November 25, 2014

Floods ravage LV again

More rain predicted this week

Floodwaters swept across Southern Nevada Tuesday for the fourth times in a month, critically injuring an 11-year-old girl, dragging a woman from a small truck, miring a school bus in mud and overwhelming homes.

National Weather Service forecasters, who predicted more rain through Thursday, ended a flood warning at 3 p.m. Tuesday but continued a flood watch through 10 p.m.

County and city public works crews watched floodwaters swirl into ponds from 2- to 6-feet-deep on streets already extensively damaged from prior floods. Officials have estimated previous damage to be more than $2 million.

Metro's Search and Rescue units, REACT volunteers, city and county firefighters and other volunteers rescued people from flooded homes, cars and schools.

Valley Hospital's Flight for Life helicopter flew Jennifer Ames, 11, to Humana Hospital Sunrise, who was in a coma after a torrent of water pulled her under a parked car at Carey Avenue and Lee Street about 12:45 p.m.

Passerby Phyllis Frehner pulled Ames out of the floodwaters and revived the child at the scene. Frehner has had cardiac pulmonary resuscitation training.

Ames was listed in critical condition at the Humana-Sunrise in the pediatric intensive care unit, hospital spokesman Ann Lynch said.

About 3:45 p.m., Flight for Life brought 47-year-old Marcie Samora to Valley Hospital after she was forced from a small truck near Nellis Boulevard and Owens Avenue.

The Circus Circus cashier was listed in stable condition, Valley Hospital spokesman Marcia Hawkins said.

A Clark County School District bus with 80 students aboard became stuck in mud on Civic Center Drive between Gowan Road and Cheyenne Avenue as the driver tried to negotiate a wash area filled with water, district spokesman Ray Willis said. No one was injured.

The bus was stranded after leaving Lois Craig Elementary School and students went home on another bus, Willis said.

Three year-round schools affected by floodwaters included Cyril Wengert, Mountain View and Ira J. Earl, the School District spokesman said.

School officials delayed between 250 and 300 students from leaving the three schools after classes ended at 2:50 p.m. Teachers and bus drivers stayed with the students in school multipurpose rooms, Willis said.

Students who walk to school were kept at the facilities, and parents were notified, he said.

Mountain View school, at Kell Lane, will be closed Wednesday. It was the same school flooded last month in the Sunrise Manor area. Willis said officials expect to reopen the school Thursday.

One woman who left her truck at Lynn Lane and Bonanza Avenue was rescued by a friend after she washed away in 3 feet of rushing, muddy water.

"It knocked me over and I tumbled," Julie McGhee, 28, said from her home on Sunrise Mountain. "I got out of the truck and held on to a wall and got down the street. The current was too fast when I tried to walk across the street."

McGhee's friend, Ron Chisman, 36, grabbed the woman as she bobbed past him.

"If he hadn't caught me, I would have ended up in a lot worse shape," McGhee said.

She said she had numerous cuts and bruises and that Chrisman hurt his leg.

National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Taylor said rain measurements ranged from McCarran International Airport's .52 of an inch to 3 1/2 inches between 6 a.m. and noon in Boulder City.

Taylor said thunderstorms are expected through Thursday with highs in the mid-90s and lows in the low 70s. Winds will be light, except near thunderstorms, where gusts could reach 50 mph, he added.

Tuesday's high was 82 degrees and the official low was 75 degrees, but it dropped to 71 at 2 p.m. during a thunderstorm, Taylor said.

At least six families were affected by the floods, Red Cross disaster manager Dennis Persons said. Four homes flooded on Osbourne Street in Henderson when a wall of water washed over a concrete block wall.

County Manager Joe Denny, dressed in a business suit, waded through a foot of floodwaters as he surveyed damaged homes in Henderson.

Other damage included homes in Sunrise Manor an three units of an apartment complex in the 56 block of East Lake Mead Boulevard.

The Division of Emergency Management reported that I-15 near Glendale was closed before noon when California Wash flooded the highway. The freeway was reopened in the afternoon.

Nevada Power Co. spokesman Rob McCoy said scattered outages were reported across the county.

Nevada Power crews patrolling the Callville Bay transmission line -- about 15 miles long -- after high winds and lighting blacked out its marina and motel on Lake Mead, northeast of Las Vegas Marina, McCoy said.

Lightning also cut radio communications for the National Park Service at Lake Mead, Chief Ranger Newton Sikes said.

Park rangers temporarily closed roads around Lake Mead but all were reopened by 3 p.m., Sikes said.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

History: Table of contents »