Las Vegas casinos flood for second time in about two weeks, videos show

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Water crashed through the ceilings of some of Las Vegas’ famous casinos Thursday night as torrential rains flooded the venues for the second time in as many weeks, contributing to an unusually wet monsoon season for the city of the desert.

Videos shared on social media showed water entering Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood on the Strip amid a thunderstorm that swept through the area from the north around 8 p.m. local time. On July 28, the city was inundated by another storm that unleashed damaging winds and sent water rushing through the casinos.

Inside the Caesars hotel and casino, rain fell through the ceiling on the heads of diners in a restaurant.

Meanwhile, water pounded the card tables and flooded the checkered carpet at Planet Hollywood. In parking lots, the water flowed in waves. At one point, more than 17,500 customers were without power, Las Vegas broadcaster KLAS-TV reported.

Caesars Entertainment, which operates Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood, did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.

Shortly after 9 p.m., the Weather Service issued a flood advisory for all of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, warning that high water could affect low-lying, poorly drained areas. Wind gusts of up to 64 mph have been recorded at North Las Vegas airport and near the Strip, while the weather service has received ‘multiple reports’ of lightning sets trees on fire.

The area is under flood watch from 11 a.m. Friday to midnight Saturday due to the potential for slow-moving thunderstorms that could produce heavy rain and flash floods, according to the weather service. At least 20% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening is in the forecast until Monday.

The storm delivered Las Vegas 0.58 inches of rain, nearly double its average precipitation for all of August – 0.32 inches.

The city’s rainfall total for this monsoon season, which began June 15, also increased to 1.28 inches — the most in a decade, according to the National Weather Service. The rainfall total could increase further before the end of the season on September 30.

A southwest summer monsoon brought heavy rain to Las Vegas on August 11, flooding streets and casino gambling halls. (Video: The Washington Post)

The two recent floods were caused by the southwest monsoon, which develops each summer when the prevailing winds shift from west to south, drawing a northerly wave of moisture. This year’s southwest monsoon was particularly intense, helping to alleviate drought conditions in the region, but also causing extensive flooding. Last week, 1,000 people remained stranded in Death Valley National Park in California due to a 1,000 year downpour.

Scientists say that human-caused global warming is intensifying extreme precipitation events. Warmer air accelerates evaporation and makes more water available in the atmosphere for showers. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found evidence that southwest monsoon rainfall has increased since the 1970s.

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