Monday’s super storm was one with all the punches.
First, heavy rains poured from the skies, dropping over 3 inches in one hour in the Moapa area. Then, the bad news really hit hard.
Power was lost to all Overton Power District customers around 3:30 p.m. due to major flooding at the Reid-Gardner plant in Moapa. According to a video on the OPD Facebook page, water appeared to be 2-3 feet deep, preventing crews from accessing the problem areas.
Power was restored about an hour later, but that glory was short-lived, as the power shut off after 20 minutes. The prediction at that time on restoring power was indefinitely. Mesquite and the surrounding areas would be in the dark for nearly 8 hours Monday, although lights from Scenic could be seen easily.
Clark County Schools called to parents Monday night, canceling school on Tuesday for all Virgin Valley schools and Moapa Valley schools.
Thankfully, power was finally restored permanently shortly after, around 11 p.m.
But the power being out was minor compared to larger problems that still affect everyone wishing to travel on I-15.
Flooding in Moapa caused a complete wash-out of the roads, undoing all of the hard work road crews have put in over the past several months. The rains washed the pavement away on several parts of the interstate, forcing southbound travelers to go back to Mesquite, and northbound travelers to go back to Las Vegas.
Tuesday morning brought few answers of satisfaction to those who wanted to get in and out of Mesquite, or through I-15 altogether. The Virgin River Gorge Corridor opened up in both directions, but old Highway 91, the other route used through the night, was closed shortly after due to washouts.
With the road disintegrating in Moapa, the only alternate at this time to get to and from Las Vegas is to take go north on UT SR 18 from St. George, Utah and proceed to Beryl Junction where you will turn west onto UT SR 56 (becomes NV SR 319 in NV) and proceed west to the Town of Panaca where you can turn south onto US 93 to I-15 north of Las Vegas. The repairs to the broken part of I-15 at milemarker 91 is estimated to take 3-4 days minimum to fix.
Other related services affected:
Mail Service: According to Chris Pearce at the Mesquite Post Office on Tuesday Morning, mail will be delayed coming in, as the shipments are taking the detour route to bring in new mail and ship mail out.
Logandale and Overton Post Offices are getting their mail by using the North Shore road through Lake Mead.
Moapa, however, will be without mail altogether until the interstate is fixed or there is an alternate route available.
As of 10:50 a.m. Tuesday morning, Southbound I-15 has been opened up at exit 112 to allow all non-commercial vehicles to travel to Logandale and take the Valley of Fire Road to the other side of Moapa, allowing travel to Las Vegas. Northbound traffic has not been opened yet.
Updates will be posted to the MLN Facebook page as soon as possible.