Rain reported inside Las Vegas casinos amid thunderstorms

Thunderstorms dumped heavy rain and brought strong winds to central Nevada on Thursday, flooding the streets and casinos of Las Vegas. Lightning and small hail were also part of the stormy mix that hit the popular summer travel destination. Additional thunderstorm activity is expected Friday evening, 6-8 p.m., with the possibility of thunderstorms continuing through the weekend and into next week.

“It’s all part of our monsoon season,” said Andy Gorelow, forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Las Vegas. “This time of year is our best opportunity for thunderstorms. When we get a lot of heat and humidity at this time of year, it can produce thunderstorms.”

Gorelow said the system formed north of Las Vegas, traveled south and then hit the city “pretty good.”

“We know some casinos have been damaged by flooding, there are downed trees and power outages,” he said.

Winds of up to 59 miles per hour were recorded at the airport, and there was a gust of 71 mph at another site near the airport, the weather service said. Due to high winds, Harry Reid International Airport experimented delays. On Friday morning, operations resumed as normal, officials said.

The weather service Posted a flood advisory for the Vegas area on Thursday afternoon, warning of strong winds up to 40 mph, heavy rain and nuisance flooding.

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue said he responded to 330 calls from 9 p.m. to midnight Thursday, most related to the storm. Seven people were rescued from the flowing waters. The agency warned motorists not to cross flooded streets.

Videos published on social media showed water flowing inside sports betting site Circa Sportsbook and cascading down large screens. A picture on Twitter show shallow water spread across the casino floor of Planet Hollywood.

The rain would fell through holes in the ceiling of Caesars Palace, making it rain inside. “I don’t know if it’s raining more inside or outside,” wrote the Twitter user who shared a video.

A video posted by Perez Hilton on Twitter showed cars driving under an overpass and crossing a lake of water. “I’m really glad I got off the freeway just before that,” Perez wrote.

Another one clip showed a river of water running through the parking lot of the LINQ Hotel and Casino on the Strip.

Not all casinos experienced flooding and those that did were back up and running quickly. Circa cleared the water and was open again Friday, and Caesars said properties that experienced “minor flooding” were operating normally Friday. “Repairs are already underway and we do not expect them to impact our customers’ experience,” Caesars Entertainment said in a statement to SFGATE.

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