Flash floods close Death Valley National Park, stranding 1,000 people

Flash floods sweeping through Death Valley National Park have closed the park, including all roads in and out of the park, as well as the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

Approximately 1,000 people are stranded in the park, according to park officials. No injuries have been reported.

The park received 1.7 inches of rain on Friday morning, an entire year’s worth of rain for the area in a few hours. Annual rainfall for the park is 2 inches.

“Highway 190 is closed, and additional roads in the park may be impacted or impassable due to flash floods,” a post on the Death Valley National Park Facebook account warned. “Use extreme caution.”

Caltrans has estimated that it will take about four to six hours for roads to reopen.

“Caltrans and National Park Service crews are working to plow ‘admin use’ lanes out of the park,” Abigail Wines, a spokesperson for Death Valley National Park, told SFGATE. “Some vehicles have been able to get out via CA-190 to Death Valley Junction, depending what type of vehicle they have.”

This is the second flood to hit the national park this week. On Monday, a flash flood swept a car off of Highway 190, submerging it in debris.

There is no word yet on when Highway 190 or the park will reopen.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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