Major amounts of flooding led to the closure of Death Valley National Park on Sunday, August 20, after Tropical Storm Hilary battered California.
Flash floods began in the park on Sunday morning, with 1.04 inches of rainfall landing at Furnace Creek Visitor Center by 1:30pm. Furnace Creek typically receives an average 2.2 inches of rainfall throughout an entire year.
“Park rangers are reminding travelers to ‘Turn around, don’t drown.’ Flash floods are rivers of mud and rocks that can easily sweep cars off roads. Emergency responders may not be able to reach people in need.” -NPS
Death Valley National Park initially announced a partial closure beginning on Saturday, August 19, shutting down campgrounds, roads, and the Furnace Creek Visitors Center in anticipation of the heavy rainfall.
The National Park service is yet to announce a reopening date or time for Death Valley.
Last year, on August 5, 1.7 inches of rain fell on Death Valley National Park in just three hours, stranding residents, visitors, and employees for 12 hours. The damage led to months of repairs and a full closure for two weeks.
Joshua Tree National Park fully shut down operations before the storm began, with a full closure scheduled between August 19 at 11am and August 21 at 5pm. The service has released no updates on the reopening as of noon on Monday.
Image Credit: Death Valley National Park via Facebook