Flash floods bury cars and strand tourists in Death Valley | National parks

Flash flooding Death Valley national park closed roads park, buried cars stranded 1,000 people Friday.

A deluge brought “nearly entire year’s worth rain one morning” famously hot dry park California desert. At least 1.7in (4.3cm) rain fell Furnace Creek area; park’s average annual rainfall 1.9in (4.8cm).

About 60 vehicles buried debris 500 visitors 500 park workers stranded, park officials said. There immediate reports injuries California transport department estimated take four six hours open road allow park visitors leave.

It second major flooding event park week. Some roads closed Monday inundated mud debris flash floods also hit western Nevada northern Arizona hard.

The rain started around 2am, said John Sirlin, photographer Arizona-based adventure company witnessed flooding perched hillside boulder trying take pictures lightning storm approached.

Video photos posted Sirlin social media showed fast flowing water, toppled palm trees cars trapped debris.

Major flash flooding Death Valley National Park morning. Approximately two dozen vehicles trapped mud rock debris Inn Death Valley. Took nearly 6 hours get . < href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cawx?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cawx < href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/stormhour?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#stormhour < href="https://t.co/3rDFUgY7ws">pic.twitter.com/3rDFUgY7ws

— John Sirlin (@SirlinJohn) < href="https://twitter.com/SirlinJohn/status/1555637991380439040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 5, 2022

“It extreme anything I’ve seen ,” said Sirlin, lives Chandler, Arizona, visiting park since 2016. He lead guide Incredible Weather Adventures said started chasing storms Minnesota high plains 1990s.

“I’ve never seen point entire trees boulders washing . The noise rocks coming mountain just incredible,” said phone interview Friday afternoon.

“A lot washes flowing several feet deep. There rocks probably 3 4 feet covering road,” said.

Sirlin said took 6 hours drive 35 miles (56 kilometers) park near Inn Death Valley.

“There least two dozen cars got smashed stuck ,” said, adding didn’t see anyone injured “ high water rescues”.

During Friday’s rainstorms, “flood waters pushed dumpster containers parked cars, caused cars collide one another. Additionally, many facilities flooded including hotel rooms business offices,” park statement said.

A water system provides park residents offices also failed line broke repaired, statement said.

A flood advisory remained effect evening, National Weather Service said.

Associated Press contributed reporting

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