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Agency: Radiation Test Flights Over Vegas Strip Are Routine

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Security preparations for Las Vegas’ New Year’s Eve celebrations include helicopter flights that officials say are routine to measure naturally occurring background radiation levels in the air over southern Nevada. The low-level flights in a grid pattern over the Las Vegas Strip will be conducted during daylight hours Tuesday the U.S. Department of Energy said in a news release.

Officials say the aerial testing is a normal part of security and emergency preparedness and they are announcing the flights so people who see the low-flying helicopter won’t be alarmed.

Las Vegas police have said they’re prepared for 400,000 people to attend the celebration that officials have dubbed “The Big 20.” Other security preparations include deploying plainclothes and uniformed officers, federal agents and resort security personnel in and around casino-hotels and on rooftops in southern Nevada.

Glass bottles, coolers and backpacks won’t be allowed on the Las Vegas Strip after street closures begin this evening.