291 Flights Canceled in Las Vegas as Tropical Storm Hilary Approaches


Posted on: August 20, 2023, 11:39h. 

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

Las Vegas visitors had to modify their plans after 291 flights to or from Harry Reid International Airport on Sunday were canceled due to dangerous weather conditions.

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)

Additionally, 31 flights at Harry Reid were delayed, as reported by FlightAware, a flight tracking service, on Sunday morning.

Southwest Airlines was one of the most affected airlines.

The culprit, Hurricane Hilary, was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday morning as it made its way towards California, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The NWS issued a flood watch for Southern Nevada from Saturday to Monday. There is a possibility of flash flooding with heavy rain and thunderstorms expected in the area.

The Las Vegas Valley could receive one to three inches of rain, with wind gusts of 35 to 40 mph at the peak of the storm, as per the Weather Channel.

Linq Parking Garage at Risk

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

Due to the weather conditions, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo activated the Nevada National Guard.

These guardsmen will be deployed to provide support to southern counties, which may experience significant 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,” Lombardo stated.

Federal officials also advised 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,” said Marcus Coleman, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official, on Saturday.

Furthermore, Nevada’s Lake Mead National Recreation Area closed at 5 p.m. on Saturday and may not reopen until Monday at the earliest.

In California, there are concerns that strong winds could cause power outages by knocking down power lines.

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

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

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

In California, sustained winds were as high as 70 mph as of early Sunday, following the storm’s weakening from a Category 1 hurricane, according to CNN.

Catastrophic, Life Threatening

Despite its weakening, forecasters in the Southwest predict “catastrophic and life-threatening” floods from the storm, as reported by CNN.

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