State of emergency declared for Nevada; flash flooding possible

Hurricane Hilary graphic
Hurricane Hilary graphic(NOAA/Pixabay/MGN)
Published: Aug. 19, 2023 at 5:24 PM PDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2023 at 1:29 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (KOLO) -AUG. 20 UPDATE: Gov. Joe Lombardo on Sunday afternoon declared a state of emergency in Nevada due to a threat from Tropical storm Hilary as it moves over the U.S.

“As a result of the anticipated rainfall from Hurricane Hilary, flash flooding, rockslides, mudslides, and washouts are expected to cause significant damage to state infrastructure and public and private property,” Lombardo said in a statement.

The heaviest damage is expected to be in southern Nevada as the intensity of the storm is expected to dissipate as it moves north, mostly into central Nevada.

The declaration means Nevada and impacted counties will get federal assistance as they protect citizens and mitigate infrastructure damage.

The National Weather Service predicts flash floding may be possible in western Nevada through Monday night. Also warns excessive runoff could cause flooding through Monday night in Mono, Mineral and southern Lyon counties and also the Pyramid Lake area.

The Weather Service also said heavy rain in Central Nevada could go as far north as Interstate 80 by Sunday night.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent staff to Nevada to help coordinate relief efforts, the governor’s office said.

ORIGINAL STORY Gov. Joe Lombardo on Saturday said state government is preparing for the remains of Hurricane Hilary as it moves over land and urged the public to prepare too.

Lombardo on Friday activated the Nevada National Guard and is sending 100 members to southern Nevada. They will use high water machines and heavy machinery, among other tasks.

Other state efforts include the Nevada Department of Transportation making preparations for severe weather on roads and bridges; the Nevada Division of Forestry getting ready to use hand crews and to work with local firefighting agencies; coordinating Nevada State Police efforts with local agencies; and making sure communication channels are working with California officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We urge all Nevadans to take this threat seriously, to prepare for severe weather, and to follow the guidance of emergency officials,” Lombardo said in a statement.

The state urged these steps before flooding:

  • Create an Emergency Communication Plan
  • Build a disaster supply kit for all members in your household, including your pets.
  • Document your belongings and gather important personal documents.

One flooding occurs, the state makes these recommendations:

  • Find safe shelter right away.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Don’t allow children or pets to play in or near floodwaters, which are fast moving and can contain dangerous debris and chemicals.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Depending on the type of flooding:
  • Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
  • Stay where you are.