December 7, 2023

  • Death Valley experienced unprecedented rain that led to flooding on Friday.
  • Flooding trapped 1,000 people in the park.
  • At least 60 parked cars were pushed into each other by the floods.

About 1,000 people were stranded in Death Valley National Park after it was closed following flooding due to unprecedented rain.

National Park Service reported that about 500 visitors and 500 staff members were unable to leave the park on Friday. According to the agency, many facilities, including hotels were flooded. At the Inn at Death Valley in California, 60 cars were buried under several feet of debris.

The park received 1.46 inches of rain, nearly breaking the current record of 1.47 inches, according to the NPS.

“All roads in and out of the park are currently closed and will remain closed until park staff can assess the extent of the situation,” NPS said.

In addition, the flooding forced dump trucks into cars, which collided with each other, the NPS said. No injuries were reported, but no further details were available about the 1,000 people trapped in the park.

CNN reported that some visitors left despite flooding and road closures on Friday. Park public affairs officer Abby Wines told CNN that “no one is stopping” visitors from leaving if they want to.

Roads were still closed Saturday afternoon, according to an update NPS website. The rain has stopped, but more is expected later this week. High temperatures in the park this week are over 100 degrees.

The California Department of Transportation warned that Route 190 remains closed and drivers should not attempt to “bypass any closure to access the park.” The agency said cleanup is ongoing and progress updates will be posted on social media sites.

“Many roads throughout the park have been severely damaged by the storm and are unsafe for driving,” the agency said.

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