RENO — A windstorm howled through the streets of Reno with the force of a hurricane early today, sending shards of glass slicing down streets, closing the airport and ripping down power lines that started fires and knocked out electricity to most of the gambling mecca.
One death in a traffic wreck was attributed to the sudden storm that began battering western Nevada about 10 p.m. Thursday with wind gusting to 94 m.p.h. and howled through the early hours of today, officials said.
The wind sent sand and tumbleweeds swirling through town and blew apart much of a 127-foot-tall, 44.8-ton, neon sign marking the Circus Circus hotel-casino.
Fires started by downed power lines streaked the night sky red and trees flew through the air, crushing parked cars and blocking roads. Burglar alarms were tripped across Reno.