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Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:10 PM

Flash floods strand 1K people in Death Valley National Park

Source: AP

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Flash flooding at Death Valley National Park triggered by heavy rainfall on Friday buried cars, forced officials to close all roads in and out the park and stranded about 1,000 people, officials said

The park near the California-Nevada state line received at least 1.7 inches (4.3 centimeters) of rain at the Furnace Creek area, which park officials in a statement said represented “nearly an entire year’s worth of rain in one morning.” The park’s average annual rainfall is 1.9 inches (4.8 centimeters).

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 Department of Transportation 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 Monday after they were inundated with mud and debris from flash floods that also hit western Nevada and northern Arizona hard.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/flash-floods-strand-1k-people-in-death-valley-national-park/ar-AA10mzmH



Flash floods are not unusual when it rains in a desert environment. The ground is often like set concrete, not very porous.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Flash floods strand 1K people in Death Valley National Park (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Friday OP
bluedigger Friday #1
TexasBushwhacker Friday #2
LeftInTX Friday #5
TexasBushwhacker Friday #7
Igel Friday #3
hardluck Friday #10
LeftInTX Friday #11
catchnrelease Yesterday #17
csziggy 17 hrs ago #21
Mz Pip Yesterday #19
electric_blue68 Friday #4
AllaN01Bear Friday #6
AllaN01Bear Friday #8
Jack the Greater Friday #9
LeftInTX Friday #12
RussBLib Friday #13
Martin68 Friday #14
AllyCat Friday #15
YoshidaYui Yesterday #16
Old Crank Yesterday #18
ripcord Yesterday #20

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:24 PM

1. Pretty amazing how much material can get moved over essentially flat ground.

The cars in the parking lot will take some digging out.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:25 PM

2. And no matter how solid or porous the ground is

Water simply can't move downstream that fast, and the "valley" of Death Valley is hard, crystalline salt. That being said, they had to have known that there was a forecast for heavy rain. I wonder why the park wasn't closed.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:34 PM

5. One inch isn't alot of rain via radar and it may not have shown up on radar until the last minute

DV rains are monsoon, which are tricky. They creep up from Mexico and are very scattered in nature as opposed to "systems".

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:58 PM

7. They ARE monsoons

I've been through them in Big Bend. They're cool as long as you don't get caught in a flood like these folks. It brings all the toads out of estivation. They're all jumping and happy, probably thinking "Let's eat! Let's f**k!"

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:27 PM

3. Amazing.

Not just the flooding, but that there were 1k people in Death Valley in August.

(My wife and I visited DV either on Xmas, or the day before or after--it was '97 or so and I just remember "around Xmas".)

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:10 PM

10. Same

Our rule of thumb is mountains in the summer and desert in the winter.

Death Valley is a beautiful area to explore at the right time.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:37 PM

11. Yeah, we get people who go to Big Bend in the summer

Despite the fact that the NPS discourages it.

Big Bend is not as bad as Death Valley. However, it is very remote. There is a river, but right now it's probably running pretty dry. There is a mountain area, but getting up the mountains is the challenge. Still people go.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 04:01 AM

17. I'd bet money most are tourists from Europe

For some reason Europeans want to go to DV in the summer! I've spent a lot of time in the Eastern Sierra and during the summer months there it was common to hear languages/accents from Europe, and inevitably they were either going to or had been to Death Valley. There was actually a kind of popular route they would take--San Francisco over to East side/Mammoth, down 395 and over to DV, on to Las Vegas and finally to the Grand Canyon.

I had a good friend from the UK come for her first trip to US and I told her to make a list of places she'd want to go/see. I'm in SoCal so there were lots of choices in a multi state area to choose from. One of her choices was to go to Death Valley....she was coming in July. I told her I'd take her anywhere she wanted but we weren't going there in July. And I was driving a little Honda CRX at the time. She settled for seeing a giant hole in the ground instead--Grand Canyon! I assume it's some kind of a challenge to say that you've been to the hottest place on the planet. No thanks!!

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Response to catchnrelease (Reply #17)

Sun Aug 7, 2022, 03:37 AM

21. My husband and I visisted Death Valley just after Xmas in 1977/78

We spent Christmas at the Grand Canyon and planned to stay a couple of more nights. The hotel people woke us up and told us if we stayed that night, we'd be snowed in. Since we had reservations for San Francisco and Big Bend, we had to leave - drove out with a foot of snow on top of our truck, straight through Las Vegas and all the way to DV.

We spent one night in the Valley, drove up to the lookout point, and couldn't see anything. It was so foggy, the ravens were walking around in the parking lot. It was drizzling as we drove out of Death Valley. I wished we could have stayed over to see the desert bloom, but we had to leave.

My avatar image was taken in Death Valley on that trip.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 03:00 PM

19. It's beautiful in winter and spring

But in the heat of summer where it can be the hottest place on earth? No thank you.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:30 PM

4. Whoa!! Good luck, people...

I remember seeing the dry riverbed of he Little Colorado River in NE Arizona. Thinking of flash floods under certain circumstances. Yikes.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:58 PM

6. goodness,

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 08:59 PM

8. gracious

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:02 PM

9. I find myself wondering why people visit Death Valley in August

Take a sauna. It's cheaper and safer.

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Response to Jack the Greater (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:39 PM

12. The same people who visit Texas in the summer

"Let's go see the Alamo!" "Let's go to Sea World!"

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 10:11 PM

13. At least California is getting some rain!

Yeah, who goes to fucking Death Valley in AUGUST!?

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 11:04 PM

14. All I can say it, Death Valley in August is not the place I'd choose to be stranded.

Under an circumstances. I hope they have plenty of water. (Joke)

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Aug 5, 2022, 11:18 PM

15. Still not normal to get this much rain.

Suppose anything is possible but seems like another climate change disaster to me.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 12:51 AM

16. Its also very hot in Needles CA

Most of the year, in the high Desert. FLOODING and unbearable temperatures must be Hell!

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 04:52 AM

18. Used to go there just before Xmas

With my wife to bike around.
One year we went after a summer monsoon had hit. There was a car in a wash half a mile or so from the Furnace Creek inn with a huge boulder shoved in where the windshield was.
There parking lot has signs that say park at your own risk. The road to the hotel is in the outlet that acts like a funnel if it rains in that area. It quickly becomes an alluvial fan. When driving around most passages out of the mountains are such.
Furnace creek is a bit away and usually doesn't get much damage because the water spreads out. On that trip for us it was about 2 inches deep through the trailer park where most residences are. The tent campground is higher and escapes damage.

They publish a daily weather forcast. Can't tell you if it included this possibility.

Even in winter we have had some epic bike rides these.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Aug 6, 2022, 08:41 PM

20. I go every 4th of July

I don't like the fireworks so I drive through the park at night. They are very strict on fireworks not to mention Death Valley is a very different place at midnight.

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