Death Valley was drenched in unprecedented flooding, leaving about 1,000 people stranded in the park


Death Valley National Park was closed on Saturday after an exceptional amount of rain drenched the park on Friday, triggering flash floods that left about 1,000 visitors and park staff stranded.

The park received 1.46 inches of precipitation in the Furnace Creek area — just shy of the previous calendar day record of 1.47 inches set on April 15, 1988. Average yearAt 1.94 inches, and the largest amount ever recorded for August, Death Valley, the lowest, driest and hottest place in the United States, averaged 0.11 inches of rain in August.

National Park Service a The press release is Saturday National park roads are closed, but “visitors who previously could not leave the area have left hotels [were] Can be carefully evicted with law enforcement officers. It said water had receded in most parts of the park, leaving “extensive mud and gravel deposits”.

As of Saturday morning, “everything is going well,” said Nicky Jones, a server assistant at a restaurant in Park’s Ranch Inn, where she lives. Posted a video Flood from his colleague on Twitter. Jones told The Washington Post that the floodwaters had receded by Friday afternoon, but light debris remained on the roads.

“CalTrans has done an amazing job cleaning it up quickly,” he told The Post in a Twitter message. “I drove the roads today.”

Jones said some people were stranded at the resort at Oasis because of the stranded cars, “but people are able to get out of the park today.”

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“Flood water pushed dumpster containers into parked cars, causing the cars to crash into each other,” the National Park Service said in a statement Friday. “Furthermore, several facilities including hotel rooms and business offices were flooded.

The current is fueled by the southwest monsoon, which is formed each summer when the prevailing winds move from west to south, pulling an upwelling of moisture northward. This moisture can trigger intense rains that spoil the arid desert landscape. Because there is little soil to soak up rain, any measurable rainfall can cause flooding in low-lying areas, and heavy rains can join normally dry creeks and trigger flash floods.

The southwest monsoon has been particularly intense this year – it helped alleviate drought conditions in the region but resulted in several significant flooding events. Recent heavy floods have affected the surrounding areas Las Vegas And Phoenix.

Las Vegas floods send water through casinos

Death Valley flooding comes amid a series of extreme rain events in the Lower 48 states. During the week between late July and early August, three 1,000-year rainfall events occurred — inundating St. Louis, Eastern KentuckyAnd Southeastern Illinois. Earlier this summer, Yellowstone National Park More flooding.

Two rain events in 1,000 years hit the US in two days

Death Valley holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, and several runners-up. Officially, Death Valley reached 134 degrees on July 10, 1913, but some climatologists He questioned the fairness of that reading. Also disputed is the next highest recorded temperature of 131 degrees, set on July 7, 1931 in Kebili, Tunisia. Last summer and the summer before that, Death Valley hit 130 degrees, and this could be it Highest pair of reliably measured temperatures on Earth If the 1931 Tunisia and 1913 Death Valley readings are ignored.

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Death Valley soared to 130 degrees, matching the highest temperature on Earth in at least 90 years

According to a video tweeted by Arizona storm chaser John Chirlin, the rain flooded the park, leaving vehicles trapped in debris. He wrote that falling boulders and palm trees blocked roads and visitors struggled for 6 hours to leave the park.

Earlier this week, flash flooding hit parts of western Nevada, forcing the closure of some roads from Las Vegas to the park. Flash flooding also occurred in parts of northern Arizona.

Flash flooding closes roads into Death Valley National Park

Chirlin told The Associated Press that the rain started around 2 a.m. Friday and was “much more intense than anything I’ve seen out there.”

“At least two dozen cars were crushed and stuck in it,” he said, adding that although he did not see anyone injured, he saw washes flowing several feet deep and no injuries were reported as of Friday.

Last July, A rare summer rain Also drenching Death Valley, the park set a world record for warmest daily average temperature of 118.1 degrees Fahrenheit, with 0.74 inches in one day at Furnace Creek.

Desert rain: A rare summer rain drenched Death Valley and parts of California on Monday

Scientists say human-caused climate warming is intensifying extreme precipitation events. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found some evidence that rainfall in the Southwest Monsoon has increased since the 1970s.

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