Virtually 1,000 people are stuck within California’s Death Valley National Park, which has been forced to temporarily close due to flash floods brought on by a nearly record-breaking downpour on Friday over one of the hottest and driest places on Earth, according to park officials.
At the Inn at Death Valley, a historic luxury hotel next to the park headquarters in Furnace Creek, a spring-fed oasis near the Nevada border, some 60 automobiles belonged to park visitors, and personnel was buried under several feet of rubble, the park stated in a statement.
According to the report, floodwaters also forced rubbish bins into parked automobiles and pushed cars into one another, inundating a number of facilities, including several hotel rooms and businesses.
There were no injuries recorded. However, because all routes leading into and out of Death Valley were shut down, the statement claims that 500 guests and 500 park employees were unable to exit the site.
A water treatment system that supplies the Cow Creek area’s office buildings and homes with drinking water was damaged.
A severe rainfall that dropped 1.46 inches of rain at Furnace Creek, almost matching the previous day’s record there of 1.47 inches measured during a deluge in 1988, is what caused the flooding, according to park spokesman Amy Wines.
The park is North America’s driest location due to its annual rainfall average of only 2.2 inches. According to Wines, Furnace Creek has ever been measured at 134 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth.
The stunning canyon topography of Death Valley is continually being carved and reshaped by flash floods from monsoonal rains, which are a natural component of the park’s ecosystem and occur somewhere in it practically every year.
Wines claims that Death Valley last saw floods of the same size as what happened on Friday in August 2004, which resulted in a 10-day road closure and the deaths of two persons whose car was swept away.
There was no imminent threat of more monsoonal rain, according to the U.S. Park Service, but further rains were predicted for the coming days. How soon the park will be accessible to vehicles was not immediately known.