NATIONAL NEWS

New storms turn Death Valley National Park into a soggy mess of closed roads again

Sep 16, 2022, 2:32 PM

In this photo provided by the National Park Service, cars are stuck in mud and debris from flash fl...

In this photo provided by the National Park Service, cars are stuck in mud and debris from flash flooding at The Inn at Death Valley in Death Valley National Park, Calif., Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. Heavy rainfall triggered flash flooding that closed several roads in Death Valley National Park on Friday near the California-Nevada line. The National Weather Service reported that all park roads had been closed after 1 to 2 inches of rain fell in a short amount of time. (National Park Service via AP)

(National Park Service via AP)

(CNN) — Need more proof it’s been a crazy summer for weather and travel? Look no further than Death Valley National Park.

The poster child of US parks for excessive heat and extreme aridity has had to close many of its roads yet again — not because of high temperatures or dust storms. Instead, water is the culprit.

Another round of storms this week devastated roads in the Death Valley region, according to a news release from the US National Park Service. Multiple storms have torn through the park since late July, and many of the roads that reopened after record rainfall in August have been closed again.

“Road crews are exhausted from clearing, and then re-clearing, the same sections of roads,” the NPS release said.

“It’s been an exciting few weeks of rain, record-setting heat, and even a hurricane remnant!” Superintendent Mike Reynolds said. “There aren’t any more storms in the forecast. Hopefully we can make real progress getting more of the park open soon.”

What routes are closed?

As of Friday, the west entrance was closed because of extensive damage to California Highway 190 west of the park, which is set mostly in California with a small portion in neighboring Nevada.

This section of CA-190 had reopened for a few hours on Tuesday, the release said, but an evening storm caused “much more significant damage than the prior storm.”

Most paved roads into the park are closed. “The only route into the park is from the east, via Death Valley Junction and CA-190,” the release said.

As of Friday morning, it was still possible to drive to these features:

• Zabriskie Point
• Harmony Borax Works/Mustard Canyon
• Dantes View Road
• Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

You can get a more detailed, current NPS report of what’s opened and closed by clicking here.

This week, the NPS road crew has been “concentrating on Badwater Road. … Sections of the road have debris up to three feet thick. Shoulders have eroded away leaving unsafe drop-offs. The Park anticipates opening the road from CA-190 to Badwater Basin by September 24,” the release said.

Why so much flooding?

August 5 was a really bad day for flooding at the park when the Furnace Creek weather station recorded 1.7 inches of rain.

Some people might be surprised that less than 2 inches of rain can cause headlines; after all, places along the Gulf Coast can soak up that much rain in a day with little notice. But in arid regions, that much rain can trigger significant flooding.

The park received three-quarters of its 2.20-inch annual average rainfall in a few hours that day last month. That deluge stranded hundreds of people and closed the entire park.

CNN Weather’s seven-day forecast for the park has nothing but sunny skies and high temperatures, ranging from 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius) to up to 102 F (39 C).


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference Thursday July 11, 2024, on the final day of the NAT...

Josh Boak and Nicholas Riccardi, The Associated Press

Key takeaways from Biden’s news conference: Insistence on staying in the race and flubbed names

Joe Biden faced a test Thursday that he had avoided so far this year — a solo news conference with questions from the White House press corps.

10 hours ago

A small pilot study detected lead in both organic and nonorganic tampons, but further research is n...

Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Tampons contain lead, arsenic and potentially toxic chemicals, studies say. Here’s what to know

Studies have now found lead, arsenic and potentially toxic chemicals such as PFAS and phthalates in tampons and other menstrual products.

10 hours ago

Dollar General will improve safety protocols in stores and pay $12 million in penalties in a sweepi...

Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Dollar General has 48 hours to make its stores safer or it will face big fines

Dollar General will improve safety protocols in stores and pay $12 million in penalties in a sweeping settlement with the Department of Labor over the discount chain’s history of putting low-wage employees in dangerous working conditions.

11 hours ago

In this photo released by Japan Coast Guard, a woman is airlifted by a coast guard helicopter  off ...

Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

Woman swept to sea while swimming rescued 37 hours later and 50 miles away

A Chinese woman who was swept out to sea while swimming at a Japanese beach was rescued 37 hours later after drifting in an inflatable swim ring more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) in the Pacific Ocean, officials said Thursday.

13 hours ago

Shelley Duvall and Robin Williams in "Popeye." (Walt Disney/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock via CNN Ne...

CNN

Shelley Duvall, star of ‘The Shining,’ dead at 75

Shelley Duvall, best known for her roles in “The Shining” and several acclaimed Robert Altman films, has died, according to reports, citing a family spokesperson and her longtime partner.

15 hours ago

FILE -  The cargo ship Dali is stuck under part of the structure of the Francis Scott Key Bridge af...

Associated Press

Baltimore bridge collapse survivor recounts fighting for his life

The only person who survived falling from Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge during its catastrophic collapse says he watched in horror as his coworkers, friends and relatives plunged to their deaths.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

New storms turn Death Valley National Park into a soggy mess of closed roads again