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Pahrump fire crews perform swift-water rescue

Flash flood waters trapped an elderly Pahrump couple inside their vehicle as they were arriving home on Sunday evening, Dec. 8.

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Lewis said the incident occurred in the area of North Linda Street at approximately 8:13 p.m.

The initial dispatch, Lewis said, reported that at least six people were trapped inside the vehicle.

“We were dispatched for a report of a swift-water rescue, where upon arrival, crews found a vehicle that was half-submerged in flash flood waters crossing over the roadway,” Lewis said. “The elderly couple were unable to safely egress out of the vehicle due to the pressure of the water exerted on to the doors of that vehicle.”

Once crews donned their water rescue protective equipment, Lewis said they had to anchor themselves to a command vehicle before approaching the stranded late-model pickup truck.

Additionally, Lewis said he communicated with the occupants by way of his personal public address system on the command vehicle, where cell numbers were exchanged.

“We made sure they were not injured, as the water was up into the inside of the vehicle and they were concerned about that,” he said. “Crews made their way out to the vehicle and were able to successfully extricate the individuals and bring them to a safe zone without injury. Both were medically assessed and it was determined that they were not injured. We then assisted in transporting them to a safe place for them to stay overnight because they were unable to access their home due to the floodwaters.”

Regarding the recent weather conditions in Pahrump, Meteorologist John Adair, of the National Weather Service in Las Vegas, said the heaviest rainfall occurred in the north end of town on Sunday.

“We did have some flooding as the showers and thunderstorms rolled through the Pahrump Valley,” Adair noted. “The intense showers produced some flash flooding. Radar estimates indicated almost an inch of rain, mainly to the north of Pahrump, which is where most of the flooding was reported. It all fell within less than an hour, so it was a very heavy rainfall in a fairly short amount of time. We also received a report of mud and debris running over Highway 160 near Roadrunner Road.”

As far as this week’s forecast, Adair said residents can expect seasonal conditions.

“The outlook this week will be mostly a dry pattern, until next weekend where there will be a slight chance of some moisture moving back into Southern Nevada,” he noted. “Throughout this week it will be mostly clear. We will have a little disturbance moving across Wednesday, but we’re not expecting much by way of rainfall out of that. There will be a pick-up in winds coming out of the north on the backside of that on Wednesday night, but otherwise, it will be mostly a dry week this week.”

Lewis, meanwhile, commended his crews on swift-water rescue efforts.

“The crews did a great job,” he said. “We actually perform at least one or two water rescues every year or so. It is something that we practice and we are equipped for. Our heavy rescue did a great job and the crew did an awesome job getting into their personal protection equipment timely, and making their way out to the vehicle.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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