LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) – Hundreds of hotel guests were rescued from flash floods in Death Valley National Park as crew cleared a path through rocks and mud, but hoped to get out of flood-damaged roads. Was. The debris will remain closed until next week, officials said on Saturday.
The National Park Service said the Navy and California Highway Patrol helicopters were conducting aerial searches in remote areas for stranded vehicles, but found none. Still, it may take days to assess the damage – the park near the California-Nevada border covers more than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) of road on 3.4 million acres (1.3 million ha).
No casualties were reported from Friday’s record rain. In the Furnace Creek area, the park received 3.71 centimeters (1.46 in) of rain. This is about 75% of the area that is normally received in a year, and has been recorded for the entire month of August.
Park officials said that since 1936, the only day with more rain was April 15, 1988, when 3.73 centimeters (1.47 in) had fallen.
Nikki Jones, a restaurant employee who lives at a hotel with her co-workers, said it was raining when she went out for breakfast on Friday morning. When he returned, the water had reached the door of the room.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Jones said. “I’ve never seen water run so fast in my life.”
Fearing that water would enter their ground floor room, Jones and his friends carried their belongings to the beds and placed towels under the doors to prevent water from entering. For about two hours they kept thinking whether there would be a flood.
“People around me said they’ve never looked so bad before — and they’ve been working here for a long time,” Jones said.
Though he was rescued, five or six other rooms in the hotel were flooded. Later the carpets in those rooms had to be broken.
John Adair, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Las Vegas, said most of the rain fell between 6 and 8 a.m. Friday.