Man hurt as lightning hammers Western Nevada

A 19-year-old Carson Valley man was reportedly hit by lightning in a storm that hammered Western Nevada on Thursday night.

East Fork Ambulance transported the man from Minden Medical Center, where the incident was reported, to Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

No word on his condition was available at press time.

Smoke plumes from fires caused by lightning strikes were reported all around Western Nevada, including Woodfords, on Kingsbury Grade, above Bowers Mansion and on the mountain above Smith's in Dayton.

Some of the plumes turned out not to be fires or were put out by rains.

Residents in Genoa, Minden and parts of Lyon County were among the recipients of hail that measured up to 1/4 inch in diameter, said Al Cox, data acquisition program manager for the National Weather Service.

"We received reports of 65 mph winds in the Minden/Johnson Lane area," he said. "Combined with hail, that can be dangerous. It indicates thunderstorms."

Cox said residents can expect the same weather system to continue moving north along the Eastern Sierra today.

"We are at the edge of the weather," he added. "The biggest area is in the northeast."

Lightning sparked a fire Thursday afternoon on a ridge located on the valley side of Kingsbury Grade.

Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District was first to respond to the call at 3 p.m.

Fire Capt. Rich Nalder said the fire, about 3 miles down the grade, burned about 3 acres of land, but threatened no structures. Nalder said Tahoe-Douglas sent one fire engine and the Nevada Division of Forestry responded with an engine and a water tender. Nalder said the rain helped the firefighters, who had to hike to the flame-engulfed area.

"(The rain) knocked down the lighter fuels," he said, "but the heavier fuels will continue to burn."

Bob Nester, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said the South Lake Tahoe area reported heavy rain and 1/2-inch diameter hail.

"There were thunderstorms all over the place," Nester said. "Rainfall varied around the state. There were isolated areas that received as much as an inch."

Nester said thunderstorms will continue through the weekend, with temperatures in the low 90s, but he could not predict next week's storm pattern.

Despite several lightning reports around the Meyers and South Shore area, Sierra Pacific Power Co. received no reports of power outages.

"We've been very fortunate," said Gary Evans, operations manager for Sierra Pacific. "Everybody receives a little dip, but there have been no outages."

Churchill County was riddled Thursday with lightning and rain.

Radar watchers are predicting much of the same for Eagle and Carson valleys today. As the same storm system pushes precipitation north, afternoon thunderstorms are expected to couple with gusty 10 to 20 mph winds to produce hail and rain.

Predictions have the clouds clearing by the weekend.

Temperatures are expected to decrease in Carson City slightly to 89 degrees today and 89 degrees on Saturday.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment