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Clark County experiences rare tornado

A tornado touched down in Clark County for the first time in more than a decade during Monday’s storm, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service’s office in Las Vegas said the twister lasted about 30 seconds a little before 1 p.m. near the turnoff to Nelson’s Landing from U.S. Highway 95.

The last tornado in Clark County was on April 21, 2001, the weather service said in a tweet.

“That particular threat was not something we forecasted for,” weather service meteorologist Justin Pullin said.

The weather service was focused on problems with floods, he said, but the tornado was a rare occurrence.

The tornado was given a rating of EF0, the lowest level. The Enhanced Fujita scale rates the strength of twisters based on the damage they cause, and can be difficult to explain, Pullin said.

Monday’s twister didn’t hit any structures or cause any apparent damage.

“Typically when we have situations like that, it’s automatically rated EF0,” he said.

The storm systems that moved into the valley over the weekend soaked Southern Nevada on Sunday and Monday, leading to flash floods and damaged roads.

The weather service issued flash flood warnings for the valley Monday afternoon as some areas received an inch of rain in an hour. Kyle Canyon, the Carpenter 1 Fire burn area, Harris Springs and Red Rock Canyon, near the 215 Beltway, all saw heavy rain.

A weather service measuring station on the west end of Tropicana Avenue recorded the most precipitation on Monday, 1.26 inches. Most other areas averaged between one-third of an inch and two-thirds of an inch.

Air Force personnel were caught on video as they pulled a woman out of a Prius seconds before it was swept away in swift water on U.S. 95, about 30 miles north of Las Vegas. The Prius and a Ford sedan were stuck in the mud of a median when a wall of floodwater rushed in.

City and county crews will be at work through the end of the week to clean up roads across the valley.

Ranch Road in Moapa and the National Park Service’s section of Nelson Road were still closed Tuesday morning, and Lindell Road, the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Fort Apache Road, Mount Potosi Road near the Boy Scout camp, and Arroyo Road in Blue Diamond were all scheduled for either debris removal or infrastructure repair, a Clark County official said.

Within city limits, crews were working to restore roads in the northwest and on the east side, near St. Louis and Eastern avenues, an official with the city said.

Tuesday’s conditions were warm and dry. The weather service said there is a chance monsoon moisture will return to the valley this weekend or the start of next week, but sunshine and temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s should be expected this week.

The last tornado in Clark County was on April 21, 2001, the weather service said in a tweet.

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @WesJuhl.

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