Thunderstorms Slam Las Vegas Valley

Intense thunderstorms pounded the Las Vegas area on Thursday with golf ball-sized hail, gusty winds, destructive lightning and sheets of rain that swamped busy intersections and left at least one person hospitalized after she was plucked from a flooded wash, authorities said.

 The woman was believed to have suffered a heart attack while she and two other people were rescued from rushing water near the Hard Rock Casino Hotel east of the Las Vegas Strip, Deputy Clark County Fire Chief Jeff Buchanan said.

Firefighters reached two other people and their dogs in another wash near Boulder Highway, about 5 miles east of the Strip, and rescued another two people at another site shortly after 6 p.m., Buchanan said.

At least 21 airline flights were diverted from busy McCarran International Airport, where the National Weather Service said wind gusts were clocked at 56 mph during the height of the storm.

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33 years covering sports, news and entertainment in Las Vegas.