Drivers beware, the roads are wet and slippery.
The volume of calls to the Las Vegas Police Department Thursday afternoon was enough to put more than a dozen people on hold as rain-slicked roads caused dozens of crashes.
Lt. John Liberty said at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, 16 callers were on hold with dispatch. Crashes dotted the valley and though Liberty couldn’t provide details on what roads, he said flooding also was a problem.
“Not too many cars stuck right now, so that’s good,” Liberty said.
As of 6 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service’s official reporting station at McCarran International Airport measured 0.61 inch of rain.
Las Vegas saw a light drizzle Thursday morning in the first measurable rainfall since mid-September, along with three crashes snarling traffic in the Spaghetti Bowl. None resulted in serious injuries, but there were backups while tow trucks were called to clean up the mess, according to Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott.
“They weren’t sure if it was weather-related, but I think it is,” Elliott said.
By afternoon, they were sure.
Trooper Loy Hixson said Highway Patrol responded to 70 crashes in less than 12 hours Thursday. That’s double what it usually responds to in a 24-hour period, Hixson said.
Hixson urged drivers to show caution on wet roads. The roads aren’t technically the cause of the crashes, he said, but drivers aren’t anticipating slick conditions and end up hitting walls, running off the side or hydroplaning.
Many of the 70 Highway Patrol calls were one-vehicle accidents.
The rain is expected to continue through Saturday, with heavier rainfall expected Thursday night and Friday along with wind, according to the National Weather Service.
Residents of the valley can also expect a significant temperature drop, with a high temperature of 63 degrees on Thursday. The high Friday is expected to be 55 degrees, where the temperature is expected to hover through the weekend, meteorologist Chris Stachelski said.
So grab an umbrella, throw on boots and raincoats and get ready for some rain.
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