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Contact: Matthew Lamar
Contact: Nichole Andler
Contact: Abby Wines
DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Death Valley National Park is still closed due to major flash flood damage. The park had its rainiest day ever during Hurricane Hilary on August 20, receiving more rain than it normally does in an entire year.
All roads in the park, including CA-190, were damaged and are closed until further notice. Remnants of Hurricane Hilary caused extensive flash flooding, which eroded material under the road, leaving unsupported pavement and drop-offs in many places. Flooding also deposited dirt and rocks up to 5 feet deep on roads.
Caltrans and contractors are working on CA-190, but do not have an estimated opening date. National Park Service (NPS) crews are working to remove debris and fill in shoulders on other paved roads within the park. The NPS, working through the Federal Highway Administration, will hire contractors for repaving and other major road repair items.
Park officials say the park will likely reopen in stages. It may be weeks before Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells open. Secondary roads in the park may take months to open.
“Multiple national parks across the country have sent staff to assist Death Valley in this enormous undertaking. Each day brings more progress in our efforts to open and repair roads and facilities, but this is going to take time.” said acting superintendent Ben Roberts. “Death Valley National Park is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware, with over 1,400 miles of roads. There is a lot of work to do.”
Last updated: September 2, 2023