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Power outage, ‘misunderstanding’ close Red Rock loop

The visitor center and the 13-mile Scenic Drive at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area were closed for much of the day Wednesday because of a power outage, but both are expected to reopen Thursday.

Kirsten Cannon, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Southern Nevada, said the visitor center was closed at 8 a.m. “due to lack of power.” The Scenic Drive was shut down about two hours later because of a “misunderstanding about what areas should be closed during a power outage,” Cannon said in an email.

Power was restored later in the day, but the decision was made to keep the area closed because staff and volunteers already had been sent home.

Cannon said the Scenic Drive should open Thursday at the normal time of 6 a.m. The visitor center will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Thanksgiving Day.

Visitors weren’t given any warning or much of an explanation for Wednesday’s closure. The BLM’s recorded phone message for Red Rock Canyon stated that all roads and trails were open, but the entry gate for the popular destination was locked and a sign nearby said the area was “closed due to hazardous conditions.”

The closure was publicized on Red Rock Canyon’s Facebook page at about noon, though the post indicated that the scenic loop was open.

“Attempts to change the phone line message were unsuccessful,” Cannon said.

Review-Journal reporter Alan Snel contributed. Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Find him on Twitter: @RefriedBrean

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