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Southwest braces as Lake Mead water levels drop

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Once-teeming Lake Mead marinas are idle as a 14-year drought steadily drops water levels to historic lows. Officials from nearby Las Vegas are pushing conservation, but are also drilling a new pipeline to keep drawing water from the lake. Hundreds

of miles away, farmers who receive water from the lake behind Hoover Dam are preparing for the worst.

The receding shoreline at one of the main reservoirs in the vast Colorado River water system is raising concerns about the future of a network serving a perennially parched region home to 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland.

Marina operators, water managers and farmers are closely tracking the reservoir water level already at its lowest point since it was first filled in the 1930s.



Second body found at Lake Mead identified

LAKE MEAD, Nev. — Two bodies have been recovered at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in areas where two men went missing July 20.

One of the men has been identified as Irving Andrade-Yanez, 25, of Las Vegas. His body was found on Aug. 4. Volunteers form Earth Resource Group, using advanced underwater equipment, located him 340-feet underwater near Lake Mead's Boulder Islands. National Park Service rangers, Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens and volunteers recovered the body. Andrade-Yanez was reported missing after he went swimming without a life jacket on July 20.



Rangers recovered a second body at 4:52 p.m. on Aug. 1 after the Lake Mead Interagency Communication Center received a call from a visitor reporting a body was seen floating near river mile 44 on Lake Mohave. Rangers recovered the body of an adult man from the Nevada shoreline.

Tornado touches down in Clark County

Photo credit: Les Tinker

LAS VEGAS -- A weather phenomenon rarely seen in Clark County occurred during Monday's storm.

According to the National Weather Service, a tornado touched down around 12:40 p.m. for about 30 seconds near the turnoff to Nelson's Landing from U.S. 95.

Les Tinker captured pictures of the tornado and shared them to 8NewsNOW.com.

The last tornado in Clark County was on April 21, 2001.

Trails at Lake Mead closed because of dangerous conditions

LAS VEGAS -- Three hikers died this year on hiking trails near Lake Mead, which is one of the reasons rangers have closed off two trails.

The latest death was from a drug overdose in June. However, rangers say for the most part, they have to answer calls because people are simply not following the rules.

Over the past eight months of this year, park rangers have had to rescue 37 people from trails, which is about double the number of rescues in all of 2013.

For the first time, rangers have had to close trails for an extended period of time because of dangerous conditions and the park service is keeping them closed for the whole month of August.

The gate is closed at the Gold Strike Canyon Trail and at the White Rock Canyon Trail on the Arizona side of Lake Mead.

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.