Published Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013 | 11:30 a.m.
Updated Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013 | 6:44 p.m.
Flash floods — as deep as 5 feet in some areas — destroyed Rainbow Canyon Boulevard this morning, damaging homes and vehicles along the way, fire officials said.
No injuries have been reported related to the flash floods, said Deputy Chief Fernandez Leary of the Clark County Fire Department. Several residents in the Rainbow Subdivision, however, needed rides down to State Route 157.
Tree limbs, logs and rocks that washed downhill during the flooding caused much of the damage to the homes and vehicles, Leary said.
The rush of the water even washed one vehicle 200 yards down the street, Leary said.
As the water receded, the destruction became evident: mud, muck and debris covering the road and yards, Leary said.
The heavy water also caused the road to sink and collapse in spots, Leary said.
“It is pretty messy along that road and up in that subdivision,” he said. “That road is out of commission right now.”
What it means
When the National Weather Service issues a flood watch, advisory or warning:
• Flood watch: Indicates that conditions are favorable for flooding that could pose a risk to life and property. Watches are issued up to 48 hours in advance.
• Flood advisory: Issued when flash flooding is imminent, generally within six hours. This is usually issued based on heavy rainfall causing dangerous small stream or urban flooding.
• Flood warning: Similar to an advisory but is issued for significant events that will pose a risk to life and property.
Crews from Clark County’s Department of Public Works and the Nevada Division of Forestry are in the subdivision assessing damage and clearing debris, Leary said.
Rainbow Subdivision residents told Leary they had never witnessed such a powerful flash flood strike the area, leading some to wonder how much the path of the July wildfire played a role, he said.
“(The subdivision) is right in front of the area that got burned,” Leary said.
Power has been restored to Rainbow Subdivision, Leary said. Some residents have opted to stay there, but others have decided to spend the night elsewhere.
The Southern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross is on standby, ready to help any residents in need, spokesman Lloyd Ziel said.
In the northwest valley, Grand Teton Drive is closed from Grand Canyon Drive to Oso Blanca Road, city officials said. Farther east, Grand Teton Drive remains closed from Quail View Street to Rainbow Boulevard.
Rainbow Boulevard also is closed from Grand Teton Drive to Farm Road, officials said. Farm Road is closed from Rainbow Boulevard to Tenaya Way.
City officials said those roadways have been flooded with mountain runoff — a black, mucky combination of water, ash and soot — that is extremely slippery. Crews are on scene trying to mitigate flooding.
The Nevada Highway Patrol said state routes 156 and 158 are open but that people should avoid the area if possible.
On the Pahrump side of the Spring Mountains, the Nevada Highway Patrol has closed the northbound lanes of State Route 160 at Tecopa Road because of flash flooding, officials said. Authorities urged motorists to use alternative routes or expect delays in the area.
There’s a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms this evening in the Las Vegas Valley, according to the National Weather Service. A flash flood watch remains in effect until 11 p.m.
“It’s really unstable — lots of moisture,” said Mike Kennedy, a meteorologist with the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service.
The unusually high moisture levels have been hanging around Las Vegas for several days, Kennedy said. On Saturday, thunderstorms in the southwest valley, near Rhodes Ranch, produced a quarter-inch of rain, he said.
The chance of thunderstorms, however, will drop just in time for the Labor Day holiday Monday.
There’s a 25 percent chance of thunderstorms Monday, with high temperatures expected to reach the upper 90s under partially sunny skies, Kennedy said.