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Las Vegas region begins to bake as heat wave settles in

Updated June 14, 2021 - 7:41 pm

Despite the excessive heat, Fernando Salazar spent his Monday afternoon smiling as he watched dozens of people line up at kiosks throughout Las Vegas to fill up their jugs and water coolers with ice and water.

“Ice, ice, ice,” said Salazar, in Spanish. “They keep coming for it all day.”

Salazar, a Watermill Express maintenance worker, made repairs to more than 10 water and ice kiosks throughout the valley Monday while a potentially record-setting heat wave tightened its grip on much of the Western U.S. The kiosks, capable of holding 2,000 pounds of ice, usually run out by 8 or 9 a.m. in the summer, he said. The machines then begin to produce more ice, but that can sometimes take up to 45 minutes. Most people know to come early.

“Last time, I counted 17 people waiting in line,” Salazar said of people waiting for ice at a kiosk near Stewart and Eastern avenues Monday.

McCarran International Airport reached 109 degrees Monday — below the record 115 for the date set in 1940 — as Las Vegas ascended toward a five-day stretch that will see daily highs of at least 113, National Weather Service meteorologist Trevor Boucher said.

Wednesday through Saturday are expected to be the hottest days, with highs of 115 forecast, bringing with them a one-in-three chance of Las Vegas reaching or exceeding its all-time high of 117, which was last reached in June 2017.

The excessive heat warning that took effect Monday runs through Saturday. The warning extends throughout Southern Nevada and into California and western and southern Arizona and Utah.

Overnight lows in Las Vegas are forecast to be in the mid-80s early in the week but rise to around 90 by the end of the week.

At around 2 p.m. Monday, Jaime Juarez, 39, was making his second trip to a water and ice kiosk on the corner of Smoke Ranch Road and Jones Boulevard. In the morning, Juarez fills up roughly 2 or 3 gallons of water for his work at a tire service company. Then, on his way back home, Juarez will make a second stop for water to take back to his family.

“My job is in the sun, so I’m grabbing water every day, and for the family, it’s the same thing,” said Juarez, in Spanish.

Juarez said the heat also increases his workload as car wrecks tend to occur more often.

The Nevada Department of Transportation will typically see a surge in vehicle incidents and mitigation from the Freeway Service Patrol during the heat of summer, said spokesman Tony Illia.

“As temperatures climb past 100, more cars stall out or face different issues on the roadway,” Illia said.

If driving, the department recommends several warm weather driving tips including checking tire pressure, air conditioning and vehicle battery and cables, as well as packing an extra bottle of water that can be used for hydration or cooling a vehicle.

Forecasters warn residents to stay inside as much as possible.

“Limit anything outdoors to early in the morning or in the evening after sunset,” advised weather service meteorologist Andy Gorelow. “It will be extremely hot during the day and warm at night.”

For people who do stay indoors, NV Energy recommends a few cost-saving tips that can help customers during the extreme heat. Air conditioning typically accounts for 60 or 70 percent of a summer electric bill, and bills sometimes increase by 50 percent, said NV Energy spokesperson Jennifer Schuricht. Schuricht said on Monday that fewer than 100 customers were without power.

“Typically, when it is hot, our equipment might experience more outages, just like if you have a car that runs hot,” Schuricht said.

Related: Cool sources of relief from Las Vegas’ scorching heat

Safety precautions

The weather service also advised people to drink plenty of water and wear light, breathable clothing.

“Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location,” the warning stated, advising a call to 911 for assistance for possible heat stroke victims.

The Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross has shared the following reminders:

■ Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

■ Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat, and take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.

■ Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, spend much of their time alone or are more likely to be affected by the heat.

■ Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

Cooling stations open Monday

Clark County officials said cooling stations were open starting Monday at community and recreation centers in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and at Catholic Charities downtown, and in Laughlin, where temperatures could reach 120 degrees along the Colorado River.

— Walnut Recreation Center, 3075 N. Walnut Road (south of E. Cheyenne Avenue) Las Vegas Phone: (702) 455-8402 Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. M-F.

— Pearson Community Center, 1625 West Carey Avenue (west of N. Martin Luther King Blvd), Las Vegas, Phone: (702) 455-1220, Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. M-F.

— Downtown Recreation Center, 105 W. Basic Road (east of Pacific Avenue), Henderson, Phone: (702) 267-4040 Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., M-F.

— Catholic Charities, 1511 North Las Vegas Blvd (near Foremaster Lane), Las Vegas, Phone: (702) 385-2662, Hours: Noon-3 p.m. daily.

— Hollywood Recreation Center, 1650 S. Hollywood Blvd, (north of American Beauty Ave), Las Vegas, Phone: (702) 455-0566, Hours: 6 a.m.-8 p.m., M-F.

— Cambridge Recreation Center, 3930 Cambridge Street, (north of E. Flamingo Blvd), Las Vegas, Phone: (702) 455-7169, Hours: 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., M-F.

— Whitney Recreation Center, 5712 E. Missouri Avenue, (south of Tropicana Blvd & west of Boulder Hwy), Las Vegas Phone: (702) 455-7576, Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m., M-F.

— SHARE Village (daily hydration only), 50 N. 21st Street (east of E Charleston Blvd), Las Vegas, Phone: (702) 222-1680, Hours: 6-7 a.m. breakfast pantry, 8-10 a.m. grocery pantry.

— Downtown Senior Center (age 50+), 27 E. Texas Avenue (near E. Army Street), Henderson, Phone: (702) 267-4150, Hours: Noon-3 p.m., M-F.

— Courtyard Homeless Resource Center, 1401 Las Vegas Blvd. North (enter at 310 Foremaster Lane), Las Vegas, Phone: (702) 229-6117, Hours: 24 hours all days.

— Downtown Recreation Center, 105 W. Basic Road in Henderson, open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, closed on Sunday, and open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday. Call 702-267-4040

Cooling stations outside the valley

— In Laughlin: American Legion Richard Springston Post 60, 1510 Bruce Woodbury Drive, open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on days with temperatures more than 112 degrees. An outside cooling area will be open for pets on a leash or in a carrier, but no pets will be allowed inside the building. Call 702-299-1510.

— Colorado River Food Bank, 240 Laughlin Civic Drive, Laughlin, 89029, Phone: (702) 298-9220, Hours: 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m., Mon-Fri.

Contact Mathew Miranda at mmiranda@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mathewjmiranda on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Marvin Clemons contributed to this report.

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