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July 22, 2014

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Severe thunderstorm brings rain, lightning, power outages to valley

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Ric Anderson

Rain sweeps over the western Las Vegas valley at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. A powerful storm blew through Las Vegas on Monday, and severe weather remained in the forecast through Tuesday evening.

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 | 8:57 a.m.

A severe thunderstorm packing heavy rain and lightning swept through Las Vegas Monday evening, leaving power outages and flooding along parts of the Las Vegas Strip in its wake.

A light rain continued on Tuesday on Mount Charleston and on the western fringes of the Las Vegas Valley.

There was a 50 percent chance for rain and scattered thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday. Drier air is expected to move into the region later this week, bringing back hot, sunny weather for the weekend, Stumpf said.

The storm Monday produced a half inch of rain near Nellis Air Force Base and three quarters of an inch in Henderson, National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Stumpf said.

Spring Valley received the most rain — 0.87 inches — while areas near Sahara Avenue totaled nearly 0.4 inches, according to Regional Flood Control District 24-hour measurements.

The rain knocked down some tree branches and caused minor street flooding, particularly on East Sahara Avenue and near Nellis Air Force Base, Stumpf said.

The storm destroyed eight Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation (FAST) cameras and one control cabinet. The cameras provide video of area highways to determine travel times and to help police catch wanted vehicles.

The cameras cost between $500 and $2,000 to repair, and $7,000 for a new one, but the cost for repairs and replacements is already included in the RTC’s annual budget, said Brian Hoeft, director of FAST.

Lightning caused brief power outages, disrupting two major power distribution lines. The outages affected about 2,000 residents near Eastern Avenue and Bonanza Road and Sahara Avenue and Highland Drive.

The outages occurred between about 5:30 and 5:50 p.m., and power was restored just before 7 p.m. for residents near Eastern and Bonanza, NV Energy spokesman Mark Severts said.

Residents near Sahara and Highland didn’t have power fully restored until 11 p.m., Severts said.

Lightning also halted fueling operations at McCarran International Airport and caused delays, airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported that flights departing from Las Vegas experienced delays ranging from 45 minutes to an hour. Some incoming flights arrived 15 minutes late.

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