As a chance of rain, thunderstorms and high winds continues through the week, 18 residents of Atrium Gardens have moved across the street to Desert Pines High School.
The road leading to their condominium complex is littered with debris and branches. Garage doors are severely damaged and protrude into the driveway. Mailboxes are unrecognizable after the storm twisted them in 90-degree angles.
The residents learned at an emergency board meeting Monday that they won’t be able to return to their homes until gas and power are restored, which can’t start until the trees are removed.
“Right now, our biggest issue is restoring gas and power to the buildings,” said Chris Knight, director of the Las Vegas Building and Safety Department. “Our No. 1 goal is to get everyone back into their homes safely.”
City officials said they aim to have the trees removed by Wednesday, and then they will start inspecting properties.
“I love my little place,” said resident Juane Arrington, who has lived in Atrium Gardens, near Washington Avenue and Pecos Road, since 1988. “But when I saw what happened, it looked like a war zone. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The National Weather Service has issued a thunderstorm watch throughout the rest of the week.
There is a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms until tonight with the potential for winds to reach up to 60 miles per hour. Albert House, who has lived in the complex for 18 years, said he was at work Friday night when heard of the evacuation.
“I slept in my car on Friday night because I didn’t want to inconvenience any of my friends,” House said. “I went back to the complex the next morning, and I wasn’t expecting to see what I saw. I was devastated.”
Crews have begun to remove trees from the roof lines, but officials said it’s a very dangerous work site with stumps on top of the power lines.
“I’ve never seen anything to this degree,” said Andrea Orellana, president of the homeowners association. “The eastern side of the complex was hit the hardest, and right now none of the units have gas, but most units do have power.”
Residents can return to retrieve medications from units without tree damage. Lied Animal Shelter is housing the evacuees’ pets as long as they need.
“We want to take that burden off their shoulders so they can think about what they’re going to do next,” American Red Cross spokesman Lloyd Ziel said of the shelter. “They’re getting three square meals a day, and everyone is very appreciative and very nice. But we know they want to go back to their homes.”
Contact Steven Slivka at SSlivka@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0264.