Interstate 15 Closes Near Primm

Heavy Rains Close I-15

December 2010 was a much wetter month than normal in Primm. Nearby Las Vegas received 1.77 inches* of rain for the month, which is more than one inch above the average for December.

Significant Storm Damage

However, Primm received no where near the amount of rain in the Mesquite, Nevada area, where the swollen Virgin River and Beaver Dam Wash washed out several unoccupied houses in the nearby town of Littlefield, Arizona. The houses collapsed from the saturated soil and onslaught of river. The houses disintegrated and were carried by the force of the water downstream.

Mesquite received 3.67* inches of rain for the month, which is nearly 2/3 its annual average precipitation total of about 6 inches. The rain and flooding resulted in the closure of several city blocks in Mesquite and a local high school was used as a place of refuge for flood victims.

The storms had a significant impact on Primm. Interstate–15 was closed for parts of December 29 and December 30 due to snow and gusty winds that topped 40 miles per hour. The closure of Interstate–15 by California's Department of Transportation extended from the Halloran Springs area near Mountain Pass, California to the Nevada state line at Primm, a distance of more than 35 miles.

The freeway reopened the morning of December 30. Interstate–15 connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles and much of Southern California.

Local Business Losses

The Interstate–15 closure hurt business at Primm's three large casino/hotels: Buffalo Bill's, Primm Valley Resort, and Whiskey Pete's; and its outlet mall – Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas.

The Pacific storm also brought record December 2010 snowstorms to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Some areas received more than 100 inches of snow. Lower elevation regions received significant rainfall. Bishop, Californiareceived 5.36" of precipitation for the month, which is above the normal amount it receives in an entire year. Some dry and desert regions of Southern California received more than 10 inches of rain.

*Source: Accuweather.com