Flooding in Las Vegas Has Submerged the Strip

Flooding in Las Vegas Has Submerged the Strip
Wind speeds hit nearly 113 km per hour, says the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service. (Image: Ethan Miller, Getty Images)

Las Vegas was the centre of some intense flooding last night as locations across the Strip and beyond were inundated after a torrent of rain battered the city. This is the second major flooding event the U.S. experienced this week after major flooding hit St. Louis on Tuesday.

Ah Sin City, a metropolis of debauchery filled to the brim with gambling, celebrity residencies and, as of this week, flood water. Videos and photos of Las Vegas shared on social media last night show the city experiencing flash flooding. According to the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service, a flash flood warning for the city was issued around 9 p.m PST as thunderstorms migrated into the city from the north. The office further reported winds clocking in at nearly 113 km per hour, and that the Harry Reid International Airport recorded 0.32 inches (0.81 centimetres) of rain while some parts of the city reportedly recorded over 1 inch (2.54 centimetres).

“Water depth has risen to over 4.88 m in the Tropicana Detention Basin near Russell and Decatur in the last two hours,” said Clark County Regional Flood Control District on Twitter during the flooding Thursday evening. The Tropicana Detention Basin is located in downtown Las Vegas, just south of the Las Vegas Strip. “Still lots of capacity left in basin to store more water as the upstream channels continue to drain to the basin.”

The flooding, so far, has reportedly not taken any lives, but flood water inundated high traffic areas in and around the Strip like casinos, leaving gamblers and partygoers soaked. Videos posted on social media show the extent of the damage, as flooding rushed through parking garages while crews worked to mop up water on casino floors.

The flooding in Las Vegas is yet another episode of flooding that plagued the U.S. this week. As climate change continues, so too will heavy rain events as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year found that rain events have gotten 30% more frequent across the globe, and contain about 7% more water.