Record-setting rainfall made navigating Las Vegas highways a nightmare for drivers braving slick roads Sunday.
The valley saw .46 inches of rain Sunday, beating the Jan. 11 record of .29 inches set in 1949, the National Weather Service said Sunday afternoon.
The unusually wet roads kept the Nevada Highway Patrol busy.
Troopers responded to 143 wrecks — 43 of which involved injuries — between 6 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, NHP trooper Chelsea Stuenkel said.
In the last week, NHP responded to an average of 36 total crashes per day, Stuenkel said. That’s about 25 percent of Sunday’s wrecks.
In one of Sunday’s wrecks, a trooper was in his vehicle at the scene of a crash on U.S. Highway 95, near Eastern Avenue, when a gold Ford 500 struck a blue Toyota Camry and the trooper’s marked patrol car and then rolled on its side, Stuenkel said.
The 34-year-old trooper and two women in the Ford sedan were taken to University Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, Stuenkel said. Only one lane of U.S. 95 was open while the wreck was investigated, she said.
Sixteen of the Sunday crashes forced temporary lane closures on U.S. Highway 95, Interstate 15 and the 215 Beltway, according to the Regional Transportation Commission. Four of those wrecks shut down onramps and offramps, and one of them closed an intersection in the north valley.
Operator logs showed that Las Vegas police responded to more than 60 accidents in surface streets from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. It was not immediately known how many people were injured.
Those who stayed indoors weren’t immune to the weather woes either, according to NV Energy’s outage site.
About 5,000 customers were without power Sunday morning. Though it was restored almost immediately.
The storm, which was described as a “big band of rain” affecting Southern California all the way into the southern part of Nevada, slowly moved to the northeast valley Sunday morning, weather service meteorologist John Adair said.
Cloudy and rainy conditions began about 8 a.m. in the south valley and remained most of the day. The “decent thread” of rainfall died down about 4 p.m., according to weather service meteorologist Jim Harrison.
Daytime highs peaked at 55 degrees Sunday.
Today’s conditions are expected to be mostly cloudy with an expected high of 59 degrees and a low of 48 degrees; rain chances are 10 percent.
Tuesday and Wednesday should see highs about 60 and 58 degrees, with lows forecast about 40 degrees both nights. Tuesday may see light winds between 10 and 15 mph, and the valley is expected to stay dry through Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, Harrison said.