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Title:Flash floods bury cars and strand tourists in Death Valley
Date:8/5/2022 10:58:05 PM

Flash flooding at Death Valley national park closed all roads into the park, buried cars and stranded about 1,000 people on Friday.

A deluge brought “nearly an entire year’s worth of rain in one morning” into the famously hot and dry park in the California desert. At least 1.7in (4.3cm) of rain fell in the Furnace Creek area; the park’s average annual rainfall is 1.9in (4.8cm).

About 60 vehicles were buried in debris and about 500 visitors and 500 park workers were stranded, park officials said. There were no immediate reports of injuries and the California transport department estimated it would take four to six hours to open a road that would allow park visitors to leave.

It was the second major flooding event at the park this week. Some roads were closed on Monday after they were inundated with mud and debris from flash floods that also hit western Nevada and northern Arizona hard.

The rain started around 2am, said John Sirlin, a photographer for an Arizona-based adventure company who witnessed the flooding as he perched on a hillside boulder where he was trying to take pictures of lightning as the storm approached.

Video and photos posted by Sirlin on social media showed fast flowing water, toppled palm trees and cars trapped by debris.

Major flash flooding in Death Valley National Park this morning. Approximately two dozen vehicles trapped in mud and rock debris at the Inn at Death Valley. Took nearly 6 hours to get out. #cawx #stormhour

“It was more extreme than anything I’ve seen there,” said Sirlin, who lives in Chandler, Arizona, and has been visiting the park since 2016. He is the lead guide for Incredible Weather Adventures and said he started chasing storms in Minnesota and the high plains in the 1990s.

“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 said in...

Organization:Guardian - Climate Change
Date Added:8/6/2022 6:37:04 AM