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    Severe storms rage in the Super Bowl desert


    Mudslides and rainstorms
    Severe storms rage in the Super Bowl desert

    “Turn around, don't drown”: Dark clouds rule over Las Vegas, rainstorms whip through the desert and shake the planes carrying NFL fans. A storm from the Pacific threatens Nevada and the most expensive Super Bowl of all time. California is even worse off.

    Black to blue? Black to grey! The night in Las Vegas is slowly lightening as Super Bowl week begins, which culminates in the NFL final between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday – and the city of sin is under water. Suddenly there is not much glitter left. In Nevada and neighboring California, warnings are already being issued of mudslides.

    Rainstorms are lashing through the desert, shaking up the planes carrying masses of NFL fans. Over half a million football fans are expected in Las Vegas this week for the most expensive Super Bowl of all time: the average price for a ticket is around 9,800 US dollars, making it 70 percent more expensive than admission to last year's final. But now the fans of the Chiefs and 49ers are threatened with flooding – because the rain is not letting up.

    A local TV station's breakfast program warns, and the Las Vegas weatherman grimaces. “Rain, rain, rain.” After a switch to the airport, where there are reports of many delays and crowds this week, the weather forecast shows a lot of precipitation for the coming days. The National Weather Service issues “avalanche warnings,” “flood warnings,” and “winter storm warnings.” “Turn around, don't drown,” is the website's advice to drivers when roads are flooded.

    Streets under water

    The storm originated from a storm in the Pacific and southern and central California, where warnings are being issued of “life-threatening flash floods and heavy snowfall in the mountains” and some homes are being evacuated. The NOAA Weather Forecast Center has declared a “high risk” of flash floods for around 14 million people in southern California, including Los Angeles. Half a million Californians are said to have been cut off from electricity.

    The storm in Nevada is not quite as bad. But Las Vegas and rain are like Berlin and snow. Every year it comes from above at some point, and the cities are always overwhelmed. In the desert, the water can drain away as poorly as the Berlin S-Bahn can be cleared of ice. Last autumn there were many floods in the city of sin, entire streets were under water (see YouTube video).

    But despite warnings and rainstorms, the hotel lobbies with their many casino machines slowly fill up early in the morning. The rain doesn't bother anyone here, as a lot of things in the “Entertainment City of the World” take place indoors anyway. Here, the Blue Man Group greets you from an oversized banner, there, David Copperfield hangs from an even larger one on the front of a hotel. In addition, there are numerous music stars who give concerts day in and day out and hundreds of shows of all kinds.

    Super Bowl doesn’t have to sink

    Super Bowl live on RTL

    On February 11th, the mega spectacle of the year will take place: the Super Bowl. RTL and RTL+ will broadcast the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers as well as the halftime show with megastar Usher.

    The kick-off will take place at 0:30 am Central European Time on Sunday night. The broadcast will start at 11:15 pm.

    While some Super Bowl vacations may literally fall through, the NFL has also planned “indoors.” The so-called “Super Bowl Experience” will take place in the convention center of a luxury hotel. It will include a football amusement park with interactive games, autograph sessions with star players and photo opportunities with Super Bowl rings and the Vince Lombardi trophy, which both the Chiefs and the 49ers hope to lift on Sunday.

    The opening night on Monday evening (local time) with the introductions of the teams will take place in the covered Allegiant Stadium, which also makes it clear that the actual football game of the Super Bowl will not be flooded. In the history of the league, the final has been in danger of having to be canceled several times. In 2014, for example, a snowstorm waited until the final whistle to cover the then venue, East Rutherford in New Jersey, in white. In 2007, a massive rainstorm caused fans in Miami to flee to the catacombs, but compensation came in the halftime show: Prince sang “Purple Rain” in the pouring rain.

    In the end, the weatherman has good news for all fans. It's supposed to clear up again by the weekend. Then all the glitter will be back in the city of sin. The teams from Kansas City and San Francisco hope that the rain storms won't cause Lake Las Vegas to overflow its banks by then – both teams are staying in luxury resorts on the outskirts of the city, less than two kilometers from each other.

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