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September 15, 2022
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Debbie Wilson now director of sales for Insurance Education Association

Safety comes after flash flooding closes Death Valley roads
By Lonce Lamonte - August 8, 2022

No injuries were reported after the monumental rains in Death Valley on Friday. 

Hotel guests trapped by flash flooding in Death Valley National Park drove out after crews cleared a pathway through mud and rocks.  But roads clogged with debris and significant damage by floodwaters will most likely not reopen for another week.

The part got about an inch and a half of rain at the Furnace Creek area.  It’s about three-quarters of what the area gets in a year.  And it’s more than has ever been recorded for August.

Helicopters have been conducting searches for stranded vehicles but none have been found.

Damage could take days to assess.  The part near the California-Nevada state line had over a thousand miles of road across 3.4 million acres.

Most of the rain, which was over an inch, came in a downpour between 6 am and 8 am last Friday.  Several rooms at hotels flooded while some were spared.  Restaurant employees remarked they’d never seen anything like it while park employees stranded by the closed roads sheltered in place.

A photographer stated entire trees and boulders were washing down and the noise was quite incredible.  But now, in most areas, water has receded leaving behind a tick layer of mud and gravel.

About 60 vehicles were partially buried in mud and debris.  There were numerous reports of road damage, and residential water lines in the park’s Cow Creek area were broken in multiple locations.  About 20 palm trees fell into the road near one inn, and some staff residences also were damaged. 

A part superintendent Mike Reynolds said with the severity and wide-spread nature of the rainfall it will take time to rebuild and reopen everything.

Claims should be substantial but no prognosis has been made as yet., Lonce Lamonte, journalist


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