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Major flash flooding hits Death Valley after nearly a year’s worth of rain in a couple of hours, California

death valley flash flood august 5 2022 f

Major flash flooding hit Death Valley National Park on Friday, August 5, 2022, closing all roads, burying cars, and stranding around 1 000 people.

The extremely hot and dry park in the California desert received 37.1 mm (1.46 inches) of rainfall in a couple of hours, breaking the previous rainfall record for August 5, set in 1936 at 27.9 mm (1.10 inches).

Friday’s total is 10.9 mm (0.42 inches) below the park’s annual precipitation average of 48 mm (1.9 inches).

It is also more than has ever been recorded at the park during the entire month of August. Normal August rainfall at the park is just 2.5 mm (0.10 inches).

According to park officials, over 60 cars were found buried in rubble, and approximately 500 visitors and another 500 employees of the park were left stranded.

There were no initial reports of anybody being injured, and the California transport authority projected that it would take between four and six hours to open a route that would enable park visitors to exit the site.

death valley flash flood august 5 2022 ariana montanez
Image credit: Ariana Montanez
death valley flash flood august 5 2022
Image credit: National Park Service
death valley flash flood debris august 5 2022 nps 2
Image credit: National Park Service
death valley flash flood debris august 5 2022 nps
Image credit: National Park Service
death valley flash flood debris august 5 2022 nps 3
Image credit: National Park Service

This was the second significant flooding at the park within a week.

On Monday, August 1, a number of routes were shut down because they had been overwhelmed with mud and debris caused by flash floods, which had also caused significant damage in western Nevada and northern Arizona.

Featured image credit: National Parks Service

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