Although the bulk of the weather news recently around Nevada has been linked to the worrying low water level in Lake Mead, a second set of storms in Las Vegas affected play at the city’s casinos last week. Along with flooding outdoors which is believed to have claimed two lives, rainwater breached the roof at the Planet Hollywood casino resort. After the heavy rains that affected the city at the end of July, this summer is believed to be the heaviest monsoon season in Vegas since 2012.
Additionally, further storms have been forecast for the week beginning 22 August, which could affect the city in a similar way to the outbursts of inclement weather already seen in recent weeks. The storms have been blamed on a front of warm air and moisture that moved North from nearby California, which reacted with the usually arid Vegas climate to create powerful storms, with winds as high as 71mph.
Casinos around the city will be checking and double-checking their defenses against the heavy rain after seeing the scenes at Planet Hollywood, where rainwater breached the roof and caused an influx of water into the casino itself. Video taken by visitors to the casino showed water falling from the ceiling onto the gaming tables, in scenes reminiscent of the downfall that took place inside the Circa casino a few weeks ago, in that case damaging the big screens at the sportsbook area.
Outside the casinos, water was seen rising above the hubcaps of vehicles as storm drains flooded and made some roads impassable. Inside, casino bosses will be hoping that any further storms are more restrained than the most recent ones, as Vegas is already looking at a drop in advance bookings due to the economic slowdown being experienced more widely at the moment.
This weather comes against the backdrop of a continuing drought which has seen the Lake Mead reservoir fall to what has been described as a perilously low level. Amid a fall of close to 20 feet in the last twelve months, the city of Las Vegas and others who rely on the lake for water supply will be disturbed to experience monsoon-level rains on the one hand and a dangerous lack of reserve water on the other. Additionally, given the importance of the hydroelectric supply from the adjoining Hoover Dam, questions are likely to escalate over the possibility of blackouts at the casinos of LV going forward.