Roads remain closed but people who were stranded at Death Valley National Park have been able to carefully drive out after extreme rainfall caused flash flooding.
The Death Valley National Park received heavy rainfall that caused flash flooding to occur and forced officials to close down roads. About 1,000 were left stranded and vehicles were trapped Friday.
According to park officials the roads at the park remain closed Saturday.
After crews worked hard to remove storm damage, visitors who were previously unable to leave the area were eventually able to carefully drive out with law enforcement escorts, according to park officials.
“I want to thank park staff, the California Department of Transportation, and other partners who are working hard to reopen major roads for travel and manage this incident,” said park superintendent Mike Reynolds in a statement.
Park officials, California Highway Patrol, and personnel from the Navy have been conducting aerial searches to ensure that there are no stranded visitors or vehicles.
At this time there are no reported injuries from this incident.
In most areas where severe flooding happened the water has receded leaving behind extensive mud levels.
After assessing the park, these are some updates from officials:
- The NPS Emergency Operations Center building suffered water damage.
- Water damage to park staff residences.
- Residential water lines in Cow Creek were blown out in multiple locations.
- California Department of Transportation crews are working hard to clear areas for travel on Highway 190, with estimates of a partial opening by Tuesday.
Officials have not been able to assess the entire park which stretches about 3.4 million acres with over 1,000 miles of roadway. The list above is not an exhaustive list.
“With the severity and wide-spread nature of this rainfall it will take time to rebuild and reopen everything, and we appreciate your support and patience as we continue this work,” Reynolds said.
Crews will continue to try to clean roadways and ensure the safety of everyone at the park.