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Hundreds stranded in Death Valley National Park after flash flood

Exclusive look at Yellowstone damage after flood

{ About 1,000 people were stranded in Death Valley National Park, sparked by Friday's heavy rains, with cars filling up, forcing authorities to close all roads in and out of the park, officials said.

The park near the California-Nevada border said at least 1.7 inches of rainfall in the Furnace Creek area was "a day's worth," a park official said in a statement. It rained almost a year's worth this morning." Average annual rainfall for the park is he 1.9 inches.

About 60 cars were buried under the rubble, stranded about 500 visitors and his 500 park workers, park officials said. There were no immediate reports of injuries, and the California Department of Transportation estimated it would take four to six hours to clear roads for park visitors to leave.

Flash flooding leaves hundreds stranded in Death Valley National Park
On August 5, 2022, flash floods damaged roads in Death Valley National Park on the California-Nevada border. National Park Service

This week saw his second major flood in the park. Some roads were closed on Monday as mud and debris flooded from flash floods that hit western Nevada and northern Arizona.

It started raining around 2 a.m., said John Sarlin, a photographer for the Arizona-based adventure company. He was about to take a picture of the lightning when the storm was approaching.

"It was the most extreme thing I've ever seen," said Sirlin, who lives in Chandler, Arizona and has been visiting the park since 2016. He is the lead guide for his Incredible Weather Adventures, who began tracking storms in Minnesota and the Highlands in his 1990s.

"I've never seen a whole tree or boulder fall down. The sound of rocks coming down the mountain was unbelievable," he said in a phone interview Friday afternoon.

"A lot of water was running several feet deep. He probably has three or four feet of rock covering the road," he said.

Surlyn said it took about six hours to drive from near the Inn at Death Valley to about 35 miles away from the park.

"He had at least 20 cars stranded in crashes," he said, adding that he did not see any injuries or high-water rescues.

During Friday's storm, "floods pushed garbage bin containers into parked cars, causing them to crash into each other. Additionally, many facilities, including hotel rooms and business offices, were destroyed. Flooded," a park statement said.

The water system that supplies water to residents and offices in the park also failed after a line under repair broke, the statement said.

The flash flood warning for the park and surrounding area was lifted at 12:45 PM. Friday, but the flood advisory was in effect through the evening, the National Weather Service said.

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