Flooding closes Death Valley National Park, stranding 1,000 people

Written by Javed Iqbal

Flash floods sweep through Death Valley National Park has closed the park, including all roads in and out of the park, as well as the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

About 1,000 people are stranded in the park, according to park officials. No injuries have been reported.

The park received 1.7 inches of rain Friday morning, an entire year’s worth of rain for the area in a matter of hours. Annual rainfall for the park is 2 inches.

“Highway 190 is closed and additional roads in the park may be affected or impassable due to flooding,” a post on Death Valley National Park Facebook account warned. “Use extreme caution.”

Caltrans has estimated it will take about four to six hours for the roads to reopen.

“Caltrans and National Park Service crews are working to plow ‘admin-use’ lanes out of the park,” Abigail Wines, a spokeswoman for Death Valley National Park, told SFGATE. “Some vehicles have been able to exit via CA-190 to Death Valley Junction, depending on the type of vehicle they have.”

This is the second flood to hit the national park this week. On Monday, a storm surge swept through a car off Highway 190immerse it in waste.

There is no word yet on when Highway 190 or the park will reopen.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Javed Iqbal

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