Storm strikes some areas of the valley

A blustery storm that brought more than a half an inch of rain and hail to some parts of the Las Vegas Valley on Monday also brought some lightning, much to the surprise of one local resident.

Levi Elwell was buying cigarettes inside a convenience store at Sahara Avenue and Maryland Parkway at 3:30 p.m. when he heard a loud boom outside.

Seconds later, he saw his fiberglass shell lying on one side of his pickup and his metal ladder bent into an L shape on the other.

“You could tell it had been hit by lightning,” he said. “I thought it was stolen but all my tools were still inside.”

Despite burning a one-foot hole in the center of the shell and twisting the ladder, the lightning didn’t damage the truck’s mechanics.

“I’m still kind of in shock,” Elwell said. “It all happened when I was inside (for) two or three minutes.”

The heaviest rainfall — 0.63 inches — was measured at Nellis Air Force Base, which reported 69 mph winds.

But meteorologists with the National Weather Service called the midday storms “nothing too notable.”

Rainfall was so minimal at McCarran International Airport, the weather service’s official monitoring site, that it fell below the reporting threshold.

The rainfall was caused by Tropical Storm Julio in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico drawing moisture northward, meteorologist Faith Borden said.

The weather service issued several flash flood and thunderstorm warnings throughout the day Monday but said chances are slim for similar storms hitting the valley the rest of the week.

The forecast for today calls for mostly clear skies with highs around 103 degrees.

Review-Journal writer Antonio Planas contributed to this report. Contact reporter Maggie Lillis at or 702-383-0279.

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