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Receding floodwater lets police evacuate people trapped in US Death Valley

Intense and rare rainfall in California's famous Death Valley caused major flooding

Intense and rare rainfall in California’s famous Death Valley caused major flooding.

Hours after rare and intense flooding hit California’s Death Valley, closing roads and stranding some 1,000 people, the water receded Saturday and police rescued many of those trapped.

After “unprecedented amounts of rain caused significant flooding” in the famously parched park, about 60 cars became trapped under piles of rubble, the National Park Service (NPS) said.

“Aerial search is underway to ensure there are no stranded vehicles in remote areas,” Death Valley National Park said on its website on Saturday.

“The hard work of road crews has allowed visitors who were previously unable to leave the hotels in the area to carefully drive away with police escorts,” the park said.

“At this time, there are no reported stranded visitors on park roads and no reported injuries.”

Earlier, the NPS said about 500 visitors and 500 employees “were unable to leave the park,” which is located in the Mojave Desert, straddling the California-Nevada border.

Death Valley, with its expansive sand dunes, scorching salt flats, and endless badlands, is the largest national park in the 48 lower states.

It is the hottest and usually the driest of all national parks.

But recent floods have torn up sections of paved roads, pushed dumpsters into parked cars and flooded offices and hotels.

“With more than 1,000 miles of roadway in the park and 3.4 million acres,” the NPS said, “it will take time to get a full damage assessment.”

The park service said all roads serving the park will remain off-limits for the time being.

Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds added that “with the severity and widespread nature of this rainfall, it will take time for everything to rebuild and reopen.”

In all, 1.46 inches (3.7 centimeters) of rain fell in the Furnace Creek area of ​​the park, nearly matching the previous daily record of 1.47 inches. The average annual rainfall is less than two inches per year.

According to UN climate experts, even if the world manages to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, some regions will experience increasingly intense and frequent rainfall.

Rare floods catch 1,000 people in US Death Valley

© 2022 AFP

Quote: Receding floodwater allows police to evacuate people trapped in US Death Valley (2022, Aug. 7) retrieved Aug. 7, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-receding-floodwater-police- evacuate-people.html

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