Las Vegas has been hit with yet more flooding after heavy rains caused water to rush into casinos and hotel lobbies in late July. Now, the rains are back, and the iconic Las Vegas Strip is once again left underwater.
At a Glance
- In late July, heavy rains over Las Vegas caused intense flooding in the streets as well as in casinos and hotels
- The city recorded 0.3 inches of rain in just 2 hours; Vegas usually records a third of an inch of rainfall over the entire month of July
- Just two weeks after the initial floods, major rainfall caused new flooding in the city streets and businesses
Las Vegas Sees Major Flooding Twice This Summer
On Thursday, August 11, torrential rain came to Las Vegas, and similarly to the previous storm in July, it caused intense flooding. Water came in through the roofs of buildings and rushed out through hotel lobbies and casinos. Tourists caught videos of the floodwaters and shared them on social media. One video showed water pouring in through the ceiling of Planet Hollywood’s casino. Yet another captured a parking garage full of rushing water, looking almost like rapids.
The National Weather Service in Las Vegas tweeted “What a storm!” on Friday morning. They recorded 0.58 inches of rainfall this time. In the previous storm, they recorded about 0.3 inches. “This brings our monsoon season rainfall total to 1.28′!” the Weather Service wrote on Twitter. This is massive for the area, as the city usually reports an average of 4.2 inches of rain a year. Now, they’re up to over a foot of rain, with most of it coming from these two storms. If Las Vegas already wasn’t wild enough, now you have to kayak through the streets to get to the casinos.
Las Vegas Residents Describe Late July Flooding
Around July 31, when the first big storm hit, Las Vegas residents spoke with the New York Post about their experiences with the flooding. Alexander Wolfe told the outlet that he saw “curtains” of rain outside his window and that the “lightning was nearly constant.” He continued, “And the power went out several times. Electric surges set the fire alarms of several buildings off, causing fire responders to have to head out into the storm to respond to them.”
Simon Jowitt, economic geologist and professor at the University of Las Vegas, says that those who live in the city know to anticipate monsoon season every year. The rains increase exponentially between July and September, and residents are usually prepared for some heavier rain than normal. Though, flash flooding like we’ve seen is unusual for this area.
“We’ve got good drainage systems but sometimes the water just overloads them,” said Jowitt. “The other thing is that we don’t often get rain. So it’s hard to check whether roofs and the like are actually waterproof. Probably what has happened in the casinos tonight. These rains don’t happen that often, but we’ve had a few days in a row now.”