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August 22, 2014

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Anthem community recovering from snowstorm

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Home News

A broken tree branch lays on the snow-covered grass in front of a home on Arpeggio Avenue, near Rossini Street in Anthem Thursday afternoon.

After the snow

Ed Owens, left on grader, cleared the way to Anthem. Also on the machine is Clint Hall. At bottom, from left, are fellow city workers Darwin Barton, Ryan Minehan, Kurt Launch slideshow »

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Beemers and Jaguars were abandoned on Anthem Parkway. Casino executives convoyed home. Residents used brooms and shovels to clear snow from driveways.

The Wednesday storm, which dumped from 3 to 8 inches in Henderson, reminded many of why they live in Southern Nevada.

"I moved out here because I didn't want to see any snow," said Nick Cetrulo, who used a shovel to clear the driveway of his Big Sky Village home. "Surprise!"

He borrowed the shovel from a neighbor, and another neighbor borrowed it from him.

With the few neighborhood shovels already in use, Sharon Spencer whipped out a kitchen broom.

"It's a nightmare," she said while sweeping her driveway. Most of the Anthem community roads were rivers of slush the next morning. The area was hit hard because of its elevation in the River Mountain foothills.

Residents abandoned their cars on or near Anthem Parkway Wednesday night, with more than 20 still left on the roadway by Thursday afternoon. City officials were asking residents to return to their cars.

Several homeowner associations were recommending that residents stay home until all roads are clear, while the city of Henderson was evaluating tree damage.

Residents were also reminded that unexpected events can trigger human kindness.

Deborah Ogilvie, co-owner of Terra West Property Management, owns a white Mercedes-Benz that, until about noon Thursday, was stranded on the Anthem Parkway hill, along with other light sedans and high-performance cars.

Ogilvie was spared from walking home in heels by the driver of a Range Rover, who pulled over to assist her.

"It restored my faith in human nature," the Anthem Country Club resident said.

Driving that SUV was Jon Corchis, CityCenter Las Vegas senior vice president and chief financial officer. He was also driving home Bill Boasberg, a vice president and chief financial manager at MGM Mirage.

"I hadn't expected to spend my evening like that, that's for sure," said Corchis, who drove back down to the Strip that night to pick up Treasure Island chief financial officer Jay Kulesza. "The three of us ended up going home together and coming to work together this morning."

Debi Raffi, who lives in Madeira Canyon, also experienced a sense of community in a time of need. The family had to abandon a car at the top of Anthem Parkway. They watched strangers assisting motorists spinning in the snow.

"It's the most sense of community I've ever felt since moving to Vegas," she said. "The city wasn't able to help because this was just so unusual, but the people helped. We met our neighbors for the first time because everybody was out helping or playing in the snow."

Roz Berman, Sun City Anthem Home Owners Association president, said residents should just let the snow melt.

"We're doing everything we can possibly do," she said. "This is unprecedented."

The storm closed both Anthem centers Thursday, though they were open Wednesday.

The community doesn't own any plows or shovels. A damage evaluation was not yet available, Berman said, but she expected some trees to be down.

Damage on community property would be cleaned by association maintenance crews, she said.

The Sun City MacDonald Ranch golf course maintenance crew cleared out the recreation center parking lot with shovels and a small front-end loader, community manager Bob Wooten said.

"It's ironic, but they came in and made it so that residents can come in and use the rec center," he said.

Any tree damage on community property will be cleaned by the association, but single-family homes are responsible for cleaning up damage on their property, Wooten said.

Kathy Blaha, a Henderson spokeswoman, said two earth scrapers were sent out to clear major roads, such as Anthem Parkway and Eastern Avenue. The city doesn't own any plows.

Snow damage on city property or roadway hazards will be cleared by crews, she said.

"Crews are out there now working on trees that may have fallen down," Blaha said. "We're still asking that residents claim abandoned vehicles."

Becky Bosshart can be reached at 990-7748 or [email protected].

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