Nevada governor declares emergency after flooding

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Phoenix / Nevada flooding
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Nevada governor declares emergency after flooding
Melanie Vallet, left, and Madison Bush rescue a mule caught in floodwater Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Overton, Nev. The flood water came from heavy rain Monday that also washed out parts of Interstate 15. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People work to clear water and mud from the driveway of a home Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Overton, Nev. The floodwater came from heavy rain Monday that also washed out parts of Interstate 15. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Jalea Blasingame falls into floodwater Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Overton, Nev. The flood water came from heavy rain Monday that also washed out parts of Interstate 15. (AP Photo/John Locher)
In this Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 photo provided by the Clark County Regional Flood Control District, runoff water rushes through the Quad casino parking garage on the Las Vegas Strip and into a flood control channel in Las Vegas. Officials from the Clark County Regional Flood Control District say the garage is a frequent pass-through for floodwaters, and they give the casino advance warning to evacuate the garage when heavy rains hit the Las Vegas area. (AP Photo/Clark County Regional Flood Control District, Joe Damiani)
Corky Rasco rescues a steer caught in floodwater Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Overton, Nev. The flood water came from heavy rain Monday that also washed out parts of Interstate 15. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Construction crews work on a flood damaged section of Interstate 15 Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, near Moapa, Nev. Flood damage caused the closure of the interstate which is the main road between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A bulldozer works on a flood damaged section of Interstate 15, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, near Moapa, Nev. Flood damage caused the closure of the interstate which is the main road between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A minivan is seen in floodwaters beneath Interstate 15 in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency for the area. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A car is partially buried in mud on Interstate 15 in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The road is closed in both directions because of the flood damage. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Receding flood water surrounds a home in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Flooding throughout the area damaged homes and roads. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Josh Bryant sits along Interstate 15 in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The road is closed in both directions because of the flood damage. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A truck crosses floodwaters on a road in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Flooding throughout the area damaged homes and roads. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People stand on a road near flood water in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Flooding throughout the area damaged homes and roads. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Horses walk through flood water behind a home in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Flooding throughout the area damaged homes and roads. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People try to free a car stuck in mud from flooding on Interstate 15 in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The road is closed in both directions because of the flood damage. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman opens a door to a car stuck in mud in flooding on Interstate 15 in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The road is closed in both directions because of the flood damage. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Water flows down the middle of Interstate 15 in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The road is closed in both directions because of the flood damage. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Water flows down the middle of Interstate 15 in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The road is closed in both directions because of the flood damage. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Floodwaters surround a structure as cars on Interstate 15 sit at a standstill Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Moapa, Nev. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for the area. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A man stands by a truck after walking through floodwaters in Moapa, Nev. Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency for the area. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Horses walk through flood water behind a home in Moapa, Nev., Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Flooding throughout the area damaged homes and roads. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Cars are stuck in flood waters on I-10 east at 43rd Ave. after monsoon rains flooded the freeway in Phoenix, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Heavy storms pounded the Phoenix area early Monday, flooding major freeways, prompting several water rescues and setting an all-time single-day record for rainfall in the desert city. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Chow)
Vehicles remain along a section of westbound Interstate 10 following heavy rains and flooding that left motorists stranded during their morning commute on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. Monday's record breaking rainfall flooded several Phoenix-area freeways and local streets forcing closures with some areas reporting up to five inches of rain. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
A woman rides her bike through a flooded pathway on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Arizona Monday, breaking the previous record for rainfall in a single day in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
A man watches floodwaters surge under an overpass Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Arizona Monday, breaking the previous record for rainfall in a single day in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
A man photographs a street closed because of flooding on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Arizona Monday, breaking the previous record for rainfall in a single day in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Floodwaters surge Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Arizona Monday, breaking the previous record for rainfall in a single day in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Floodwaters surge Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Arizona Monday, breaking the previous record for rainfall in a single day in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Floodwaters surge Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Arizona Monday, breaking the previous record for rainfall in a single day in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
A dismayed Nick Kriaris wades through his flooded home after heavy rains caused severe flash flooding Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. His home has flooded three times in the past month, and he had just fixing the damage in his home from the previous two monsoon storm floodings when the storm hit. The Monday morning storm set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Floodwaters surge Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Arizona Monday, breaking the previous record for rainfall in a single day in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Cars are stuck in flood waters on I-10 east at 43rd Ave. after heavy storms pounded the Phoenix area early Monday, flooding major freeways, prompting several water rescues and setting an all-time single-day record for rainfall in the desert city. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Chow)
Cars are stuck in flood waters on I-10 east at 43rd Ave. after monsoon rains flooded the freeway in Phoenix, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Heavy storms pounded the Phoenix area early Monday, flooding major freeways, prompting several water rescues and setting an all-time single-day record for rainfall in the desert city. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Chow)
Cars are stuck in flood waters on I-10 east at 43rd Ave. after monsoon rains flooded the freeway in Phoenix, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Heavy storms pounded the Phoenix area early Monday, flooding major freeways, prompting several water rescues and setting an all-time single-day record for rainfall in the desert city. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Chow)
Traffic is stopped in the eastbound lanes of I-10 and cars are underwater at 43rd Ave. and I-10 in the westbound lanes in Phoenix, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 after record-setting rainfall caused massive flooding throughout the Valley. More than 20 cars were stranded when fast rising water flooded the underpass. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle)
Traffic is stopped in the eastbound lanes of I-10 and cars are underwater at 43rd Ave. and I-10 in the westbound lanes in Phoenix, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 after record-setting rainfall caused massive flooding throughout the Valley. More than 20 cars were stranded when fast rising water flooded the underpass. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle)
A pick-up truck driver tries to navigate a severely flooded street as heavy rains pour down Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. Storms that flooded several Phoenix-area freeways and numerous local streets during the Monday morning commute set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A truck creates a wake as its driver tries to navigate a severely flooded street as heavy rains pour down Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. Storms that flooded several Phoenix-area freeways and numerous local streets during the Monday morning commute set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A student tries to walk along a flooded sidewalk to a non-flooded street so he can be picked up by his parents after schools were closed as heavy rains pour down causing severe flooding Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. Storms that flooded several Phoenix-area freeways and numerous local streets during the Monday morning commute set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Flood waters cross a flooded street and wash away a sidewalk as heavy rains pour down Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. Storms that flooded several Phoenix-area freeways and numerous local streets during the Monday morning commute set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Drivers attempt to navigate their vehicles through severely flooded streets as heavy rains pour down Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. Storms that flooded several Phoenix-area freeways and numerous local streets during the Monday morning commute set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A driver tries to navigate a severely flooded street as heavy rains pour down Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. Storms that flooded several Phoenix-area freeways and numerous local streets during the Monday morning commute set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A man hooks up a tow line to his stalled truck in a flooded street Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Las Vegas. Heavy rains in the Las Vegas valley caused flooding on city streets. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Construction crews work on a flood damaged section of Interstate 15 Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, near Moapa, Nev. Flood damage caused the closure of the interstate which is the main road between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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By KEN RITTER and MICHELLE RINDELS

MOAPA, Nev. (AP) -- Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has dispatched a team to start estimating the cost of damage from flooding that wiped out swaths of a vital interstate and swamped parts of Clark County and a southern Nevada Indian reservation.

Sandoval also declared a state of emergency late Tuesday to allow local governments to qualify for state and federal help after Monday's storm.

Monsoonal moisture combined with remnants of Tropical Storm Norbert to dump water throughout the Southwest earlier this week. The small town of Moapa received more than 4 inches of rain in two hours.

Clark County officials said damage included at least 30 flooded homes in nearby Overton and crumbled pavement on a nearly 50-mile portion of Interstate 15 that could be closed for days.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Tourists and truckers were told to prepare for another day of disruptive detours Wednesday around a closed stretch of busy Interstate 15 in southern Nevada that crumbled in chunks during intense flash flooding.

Ripples spread from the closure of the main road from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, as crews began mopping up from Monday's pouring rain and rushing runoff. Water also scoured out part of a main rail freight line and swelled a river so high that a Utah national park was briefly shuttered.

The storm, spawned by seasonal monsoon moisture and the remnants of Tropical Storm Norbert, dumped heavy rain throughout the Southwest and set a single-day rainfall record in Phoenix.

But the sun was out Tuesday in the rural southern Nevada towns of Moapa and Glendale, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Convenience store manager Penny Hyde spent a harried day advising motorists who waited through delays and detours to reach Glendale that to get back on I-15 they'd need to take another roundabout route on two-lane state and U.S. highways to Panaca, Nevada, and then to Cedar City, Utah.

"It'll be a couple of hours out of their way," said Hyde, who noted the remnant red mud all around her store.

No damage estimate was immediately available, but Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said officials were preparing to ask county lawmakers next Tuesday for an emergency declaration.

A state disaster assessment team was due in the Moapa and Logandale area on Wednesday to begin determining if the region would qualify for funds from the state.

Officials say large-scale damage was narrowly averted when rushing water nearly overwhelmed the banks of the swollen Muddy and Virgin rivers.

"We saw it right at the cusp and it didn't go over," said Erin Neff, spokeswoman for the Clark County Regional Flood Control District. "It's a near-miss."

A subdivision with about 30 homes flooded in Overton, several miles downstream from Moapa, and Clark County firefighters counted 18 rescues in the area, many involving submerged cars.

"I've been in this area since 1978. We've never had water like that before," said David Muns, a resident of Moapa, where more than four inches of rain fell in two hours.

Transportation officials said the damaged stretch of I-15 near Moapa could be closed for several days for repairs. It usually carries about 20,000 vehicles a day.

Union Pacific Railroad service was suspended while crews repaired track that was undermined and washed out near Moapa. Officials hoped to have the track bed and rails repaired by Wednesday for freight service to resume on the busy Las Vegas-to-Salt Lake City main line.

In southern Utah, rangers at Zion National Park turned away visitors for several hours Tuesday when heavy rain and a surging river made park routes impassable. Mud, debris and a boulder blocked Route 9, the road through the main canyon.

Wet weather also took its toll on neighboring states.

Freeways in Phoenix became small lakes on Monday and rescuers scrambled to get drivers out of inundated cars after more than 3 inches of rain fell.

Cars also were stranded near Palm Springs and in the Coachella Valley in Southern California.

Beneath an I-15 overpass in the Moapa area, police officer Shanan Kelly said he and several construction workers helped rescue a woman who was swept into rushing water from the top of her minivan.

"It was very heroic and awesome," Kelly said.

A Red Cross shelter remained open Tuesday night at a school in Overton.

About 190 people were evacuated from the Moapa Band of Paiutes reservation after tribal officials warned that waters were close to breaching a Muddy River dam.

"We had rivers running through people's yards. But as far as property damage to homes themselves, I think we fared pretty well," said Sherryl Patterson, administrator at the tribal office.

National Weather Service meteorologist Charlotte Dewey warned that any more rain in the Southwest could cause new flooding because the ground was saturated.

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Associated Press writers Paul Davenport and Alina Hartounian in Phoenix, and Michelle Price in Salt Lake City contributed to this report. Rindels reported from Las Vegas.

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