Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Record floods sweep thru Death Valley National Park

Robert Besser
09 Aug 2022, 01:41 GMT+10

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, California: Record rainfall on August 5 caused floods at Death Valley National Park that closed all roads and stranded hundreds of visitors and workers.

Further, roughly 60 vehicles were buried in mud and debris, and about 500 visitors and 500 park workers were stranded inside the park, officials said.

Located near the California-Nevada state line, the park received 1.46 inches of rain at the Furnace Creek area, which was the equivalent of 75 percent of the year's normal rainfall. It was more than has ever been recorded for the entire month of August.

Officials said the only time more rain fell in the park on a single day was April 15, 1988, when 1.47 inches fell.

"Entire trees and boulders were washing down," said John Sirlin, a photographer, as quoted by the Associated Press.

"The noise from some of the rocks coming down the mountain was just incredible," he said.

Earlier in the week, flooding struck 120 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, where roads were closed due to mud and debris that swept through the area.

The August 5 rain began around 2 a.m., according to Sirlin, who lives in Chandler, Arizona, and has been visiting the park since 2016.

"It was more extreme than anything I've seen there," he added.

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

Sirlin told the Associated Press that it took him about 6 hours to drive 35 miles out of the park from near the Inn at Death Valley.

"There were at least two dozen cars that got smashed and stuck in there," he said, adding that he didn't see anyone injured "or any high water rescues."

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