The ongoing snowstorm has stopped flights from landing or leaving at McCarran International Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
"No planes are departing for Las Vegas from anywhere in the U.S. right now," said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.
Gregor said the airport doesn't have snow removal or deicing equipment, which means there's no way for snow-covered planes to leave safely.
"The forecast is not looking particularly promising for anybody who wants to fly into Las Vegas," he said.
Officials at McCarran International Airport say there have still been some arrivals since snow started falling in Las Vegas, although departures from other airports to Las Vegas have been stopped for the time being.
"McCarran International Airport is not closed. In the last hour, the airport has handled 14 arrivals and zero take-offs," airport officials said in a written statement. "Normal flight operations will resume once the inclement weather has improved."
The National Weather Service in Las Vegas has issued a winter storm warning for heavy snow for the valleys and deserts of Clark, southern Nye and Lincoln counties until 6 a.m. Thursday.
John Adair, a meterologist with the National Weather Service's Las Vegas office, said as of 2:30 p.m. the entire Las Vegas Valley was receiving either snow or sleet.
“This is a very rare snow event,” Adair said.
Snow is expected to accumulate on the valley floors across Clark and southern Lincoln counties. Snow will continue to fall through the afternoon and tonight before tapering off Thursday morning.
This storm is expected to bring 3 to 6 inches of snow to the valley floors and up to 10 inches to the foothills above 2500 feet.
Icy conditions are resulting in major road closures in Southern Nevada.
Interstate 15 was closed at 1:30 p.m. in each direction at Primm due to snow and icy conditions, the Nevada Department of Transportation announced.
U.S. Highway 95 was closed from Railroad Pass to state Route 163, the Laughlin turnoff.
Chains, snow tires, or four wheel drive vehicle restrictions are in place for Mountain Springs and Mount Charleston.
The transportation department announced at 2:30 p.m. that state routes 163, 164 and 165 have been closed in both directions due to the weather.
State Route 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump was closed as well. Motorists who must go to Pahrump are being advised to head north on U.S. Highway 95 to Indian Springs and then south on state Route 160.
Transportation Department Spokesman Bob McKenzie said motorists are being advised to stay in Las Vegas if possible.
The Nevada Department of Transportation plans on using a liquid deicer called magnesium-chloride on the part of the valley's freeway system tonight, McKenzie said. The liquid will be spread over bridges and viaducts and areas most likely to freeze on Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 95, McKenzie said.
State Route 159 is being plowed and remained open as of 3 p.m.
Because of travel conditions, Henderson employees were sent home from work at 3 p.m., city officials announced. Emergency operations will continue and public safety and public works employees are on call.- Review Journal.com
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