Aug. 6 (UPI) — The National Park Service closed down all roads into and out of Death Valley after an “unprecedented” rainfall caused flooding throughout the park and damaged roads.
The NPS said Death Valley National Park’s Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center received 1.46 inches of rain Friday, just shy of its previous daily record of 1.47 inches. The flooding buried dozens of vehicles belonging to staff and visitors in several feet of debris, stranding some 1,000 people at the park.
“The flood waters pushed dumpster containers into parked cars, which caused cars to collide into one another,” the NPS said. “Additionally, many facilities are flooded including hotel rooms and business offices.”
State Route 190 and State Route 136 were closed due to the flooding and damage from the influx of water. The California Department of Transportation expected to take several hours to reopen the roadways to allow people to exit the park.
Park officials said the inclement weather caused the Cow Creek water system, which provides water to park residents and offices, to fail due to a “major break” in the line.
Weather officials expect more rain later this week.