Death Valley is getting drenched from yet another round of storms, and roads are once again closed
In Death Valley National Park, rain has once again forced road closures.
On Saturday afternoon, extensive damage was reported in a few areas where Tropical Storm Kay had previously passed.
Closure of Route 190 in California begins at the Route 136 intersection and continues to the village of Stovepipe Wells. In light of the floods that occurred five weeks ago, many park routes remain closed, including Badwater Road.
Lucky for park-goers, National Park Service rangers were informed of the impending storm by the National Weather Service approximately an hour before it hit.
“Rangers warned people to leave the area,” Park Spokeswoman Abby Wines said in a Sunday press release. “One RV was unable to leave until the National Park Service road crew cleared a single administrative lane Sunday morning.”
Active flooding on Route 190 west of Towne Pass stranded roughly 40 vehicles on Saturday afternoon. Simultaneously, a tour bus had its wheels become trapped in the sand when it attempted a U-turn. East of Stovepipe Wells, the bus stopped traffic on Interstate 90 for close to an hour. A semi-truck and an RV had to wait while most cars were able to drive around the bus on the shoulder.
On the western side of Towne Pass, Route 190 contains at least one large, two-lane pothole. Caltrans has not said when they expect the road to be repaired and reopened.
Since the first week of August, at least three major thunderstorms have pounded the park, wreaking havoc on its roads and trails. There has been rain in the park for the bulk of the five weeks, with amounts shifting from day to day due to the monsoon season.