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Lake Mead at lowest level in nearly 80 years

LAS VEGAS -- The Colorado River is running out of water and that's a big problem for the millions of people who live in the Southwest. Lake Mead, which is fed by the river, is now at it's lowest level since the Hoover Dam was built almost 80 years ago.

The lake also happens to be where southern Nevada gets most of its drinking water. The lake is expected to drop even more in the coming years.

The problem is two-fold. The 14-year drought has dried up water making it the driest stretch since Lake Mead was created. Also tremendous growth has occurred since the Colorado River Pact was signed in 1924 which divided up the water among severn western states.



I-Team: Ex-Police chief calls Boulder City officials 'corrupt'

LAS VEGAS -- A former top cop says clean, green Boulder City is actually a steamy political swamp in need of fumigation. Former police chief Thomas Finn was fired last year because of conflicts with what he says is a political cabal running Boulder City. Finn moved away from Boulder City, but he isn't gone, by any means.

Ethics charges and legal motions are flying in Boulder City, thanks to an employee the city wanted gone. You may not think of Boulder City as a bubbling cauldron of political intrigue and conspiracies, but that's what police chief Tom Finn alleged last April before -- and after -- he was fired. He alleged that a homogenous cluster of interconnected elites calls the shots in Boulder City, and says they wanted him gone because he was a burr under their saddle. They had no idea how much trouble he could cause.

Body of swimmer found at Lake Mead

LAKE MEAD, Nev. -- The body of a 30-year-old Las Vegas man who disappeared at Lake Mead Tuesday was recovered Wednesday evening.

The body of Dindo Gavarra was recovered around 8 p.m. He was found by family members at around 4 p.m. They were searching in the area where he disappeared using snorkel gear. Metro Police search and rescue teams found the body in about 13 feet of water about 75 feet from shore. He was not wearing a life jacket.

According to witnesses, Gavarra disappeared after jumping from a houseboat to swim to shore with others. When everyone got to shore, they noticed he was missing. 

The Clark County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.

The search continues for two other swimmers who disappeared July 20.

Report: Lake Mead pumps $260M into nearby communities

Report: Lake Mead pumps $260M into nearby communities

A new National Park Service report shows just how much Lake Mead has helped nearby communities last year.

According to the report, in 2013, visitors to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area spent $260 million in communities with 60 miles of the park, which is an $8 million increase over the year before.

The recreation area ranked among the top 10 in visitor spending out of all 401 parks under the National Park Service’s control.

“This is impressive news for our local communities. It shows that despite lowering lake levels and a 16-day government shutdown, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, continues to be a premier recreation destination and a critical economic engine for our gateway communities and partners,” said Bill Dickinson, park superintendent.

Lake Mead supports approximately 2,900 jobs locally. The biggest expenditures were on lodging, followed by food and beverages, gas and oil and admissions and fees.

Another person has disappeared at Lake Mead

 LAKE MEAD, Nev. -- Park rangers are searching for a man who disappeared while swimming north of Callville Bay Marina on Lake Mead.

According to witnesses, the man jumped from a houseboat to swim to shore with a group of people just before noon Tuesday. He has not been seen since.  Metro's Search and Rescue dive team has been requested to help in the search. The team's air unit did not find anyone, when it flew over the scene.

This is now the third active search going on at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Rangers and Metro Police are looking for a 53-year-old Las Vegas man who was reported missing just before noon Sunday south of Willow Beach on Lake Mohave. They are also looking for a 25-year-old Las Vegas man who disappeared just before 2:30 p.m. Sunday near the Boulder Islands on Lake Mead.

Both men jumped off boats to go swimming and neither of them were wearing life jackets.

Family and friends helping with search for missing swimmer

LAKE MEAD, Nev. -- The search continues for two missing swimmers who disappeared Sunday afternoon at Lake Mead.

The first call came in 11:45 a.m. south of Willow Beach and the second around 2:20 p.m. near Boulder Islands.

These are two unrelated incidents; however, neither swimmer was wearing life jackets.

Search and rescue dive teams were out all day Monday, searching for the missing swimmers.

Family members of one of the missing swimmers say they're not giving up on their own search just yet.

It has been a busy day at Lake Mead as park rangers and the Metro Police search and rescue dive team searched for the swimmers who disappeared.

"I think most people under estimate the dangers of the water and most people under estimate the hazard of Lake Mead," park ranger Mark Hnat said.

Irvin Andrade, 25 of Las Vegas, is one of the victims rescue teams have been looking for.

Search resumes for missing swimmers at Lake Mead

LAKE MEAD, Nev. - Search efforts resume Monday for two swimmers who disappeared in unrelated incidents at Lake Mead.

Park rangers suspended their searches Sunday night, but will resume Monday morning.

The first person disappeared Sunday before 12 p.m. at Lake Mohave, just south of Willow Beach. The National Park Service says a man jumped off a boat to go swimming and never resurfaced.

The second incident occurred Sunday shortly before 2:30 p.m. A man vanished while swimming near Boulder Islands.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Search and Rescue Dive Team aided both searches.

Rangers also rescued two people Sunday. A woman experienced trouble breathing while hiking in White Rock Canyon. Rangers located her and brought her to safety.

Another man nearly drowned while swimming at Ski Cove. Emergency crews air-lifted him to a nearby hospital for treatment.