Flash floods strand 1K people in Death Valley National Park & More news


DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Flash flooding at Death Valley National Park triggered by heavy rainfall on Friday buried automobiles, pressured officers to shut all roads in and out the park and stranded about 1,000 people, officers mentioned

The park close to the California-Nevada state line obtained at the least 1.7 inches (4.3 centimeters) of rain on the Furnace Creek space, which park officers in an announcement mentioned represented “nearly an entire year’s worth of rain in one morning.” The park’s common annual rainfall is 1.9 inches (4.8 centimeters).

About 60 automobiles have been buried in particles and about 500 guests and 500 park staff have been stranded, park officers mentioned. There have been no speedy stories of accidents and the California Department of Transportation estimated it might take 4 to 6 hours to open a street that will permit park guests to go away.

It was the second main flooding occasion on the park this week. Some roads have been closed Monday after they have been inundated with mud and particles from flash floods that additionally hit western Nevada and northern Arizona laborious.

The rain began round 2 a.m., mentioned John Sirlin, a photographer for an Arizona-based journey firm who witnessed the flooding as he perched on a hillside boulder the place he was attempting to take photos of lightning because the storm approached.

“It was more extreme than anything I’ve seen there,” mentioned Sirlin, who lives in Chandler, Arizona, and has been visiting the park since 2016. He is the lead information for Incredible Weather Adventures and mentioned he began chasing storms in Minnesota and the excessive plains in the Nineteen Nineties.

“I’ve never seen it to the point where entire trees and boulders were washing down. The noise from some of the rocks coming down the mountain was just incredible,” he mentioned in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.

“A lot of washes were flowing several feet deep. There are rocks probably 3 or 4 feet covering the road,” he mentioned.

Sirlin mentioned it took him about 6 hours to drive about 35 miles (56 kilometers) out of the park from close to the Inn at Death Valley.

“There were at least two dozen cars that got smashed and stuck in there,” he mentioned, including that he didn’t see anybody injured “or any high water rescues.”

During Friday’s rainstorms, the “flood waters pushed dumpster containers into parked cars, which caused cars to collide into one another. Additionally, many facilities are flooded including hotel rooms and business offices,” the park assertion mentioned.

A water system that gives it for park residents and places of work additionally failed after a line broke that was being repaired, the assertion mentioned.

A flash flood warning for the park and surrounding space expired at 12:45 p.m., Friday however a flood advisory remained in impact into the night, the National Weather Service mentioned.


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