All roads into and out of Death Valley National Park are closed after unprecedented rainfall caused extensive flooding in the area, park officials said Friday.
About 500 visitors and 500 employees are currently unable to exit the park, which straddles the California-Nevada border, officials said in a statement. No injuries to staff or visitors have been reported.
The California Department of Transportation expects it will take several hours to open a road on Highway 190 east of the park to allow an exit, park officials said.
Dozens of cars belonging to visitors and staff are buried under several feet of debris and many facilities are flooded, including hotel rooms and commercial offices.
Additionally, the Cow Creek water system, which supplies water to the Cow Creek area for residents and park offices, has failed, park officials say. A major line break due to flooding is being repaired, officials said.
The park received at least 1.46 inches of rain in the Furnace Creek area, almost an entire year of rain in one morning, as the park’s annual average is 1.9 inches of rain, reported. the park.
It was the second-highest single-day rainfall amount in Furnace Creek, just behind 1.47 inches recorded on April 15, 1988.
The park is working with the California Department of Transportation and state and county emergency services to assess the situation and damage.
This is the second flood in the park this week. Some roads in and out of Death Valley were closed Monday after flash floods over the weekend flooded the roads with mud and debris, according to The Associated Press.