Las Vegas Braces for Tropical Storm Hilary, 291 Flights Canceled

Posted on: August 20, 2023, 11:39h. 

Last updated on: August 20, 2023, 11:39h.

Las Vegas visitors were forced to change their plans after 291 flights bound for or departing from Harry Reid International Airport on Sunday were canceled due to hazardous weather.

Last summer, the Linq parking garage flooded
Last summer, the Linq parking garage flooded after heavy rain, pictured above. This weekend’s tropical storm has led to worries the Las Vegas structure will flood again. (Image: YouTube)

Also, 31 flights landing or taking off from Harry Reid were delayed, according to Sunday morning data from FlightAware, a flight tracking service.

Among the airlines most impacted was Southwest.

The culprit, Hurricane Hilary, was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday morning as it headed into California, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported.

The NWS issued a flood watch for Southern Nevada between Saturday and Monday. Flash flooding is possible with heavy rain and thunderstorms likely in the area.

The Las Vegas Valley could see between one and three inches of rain. Las Vegas could see 35 to 40 mph wind gusts at the height of the storm, according to the Weather Channel.

Linq Parking Garage at Risk

On Friday, Trevor Boucher, lead meteorologist at the NWS in Nevada, warned of possible flooding in Las Vegas at such locations as the Linq Hotel + Experience parking garage and at some intersections, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Due to the weather, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, R, activated the Nevada National Guard.

“Ahead of Hurricane Hilary, I’ve made the decision to activate 100 Nevada National guardsmen to support Southern Nevada,” Lombardo said in a recent statement.

These guardsmen will be put in place to provide support to southern counties, which may be significantly impacted by flooding,” Lombardo added.

“As the state takes the necessary steps to prepare for flooding and severe weather, I strongly urge all Nevadans to do the same.”

Federal officials also encouraged residents and visitors to stock up on water, non-perishable food, and medicine, according to Las Vegas TV station KLAS.

Our concerns are wide-ranging. There’s a lot of different things that may happen, from flood impacts, from power outages,” Marcus Coleman, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official, stated on Saturday.

Also, Nevada’s Lake Mead National Recreation Area was closed as of 5 p.m. Saturday. It may not reopen until Monday at the earliest.

In California, there are worries that winds could knock down power lines leading to outages.

As of about 7:45 a.m. Sunday, Hilary was located about 220 miles southeast of San Diego.

Hilary was predicted to be “the wettest tropical cyclone in state history,” according to a statement from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, D.

Disneyland is preparing for the storm, too. Disneyland Resort theme parks will close earlier than usual on Sunday, the theme park announced on social media. Disney California Adventure Park is closing at 9 p.m. and Disneyland Park closing at 10 p.m. The Downtown Disney District will close at 11 p.m.

Sustained winds in California as of early Sunday were as high as 70 mph, after the storm weakened from a Category 1 hurricane, CNN reported.

Catastrophic, Life Threatening

Still, despite the weaking, in the Southwest, U.S. forecasters predict “catastrophic and life-threatening” floods from the storm, CNN added.

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