Hundreds of people were left stranded by flash floods in parts of Death Valley National Park in USA after nearly a year’s worth of rain fell in just three hours.
As much as 1.46 inches (37.1 mm) of rain was recorded at Furnace Creek on 05 August 2022, which is close to the all-time record of 1.47 inches and the typical annual rainfall total.
“The heavy rain that caused the devastating flooding at Death Valley was an extremely rare, 1000-year event, says Daniel Berc, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Las Vegas. “A 1000-year event doesn’t mean it happens once per 1000 years, rather that there is a 0.1% chance of occurring in any given year.”
The flooding caused severe damage to roads in the park, leaving hundreds of visitors and park staff stranded. About 60 parked vehicles were half-buried in mud and debris at the Inn at Death Valley.
National Park Service said that, as of 07 August, “there are no reported injuries from visitors or park residents, and people who were previously sheltering in place have been able to carefully travel out through the damaged roadways. No park roads are currently open to recreational travel due to ongoing safety concerns and active road work.”
Park roads are expected to remain closed for days to months depending on the severity of damage. However California Department of Transportation expects to reopen portions of Highway 190 later this week.