Hundreds of people have been stranded, cars swept away and roads closed after record rains caused flash flooding in America’s Death Valley.
The National Park, which stretches to the east California and Nevadawas hit by 1.46 inches (3.71 cm) of rain in one area — about 75% of what normally falls in an entire year.
It was also more than ever for the entire month of August.
Since 1936, the only day with more rain was April 15, 1988, when three inches fell, park officials said.
While there were no immediate reports of injuries, officials confirmed that about 500 visitors and 500 park workers were trapped in the park, and about 60 vehicles are buried in mud and debris.
“Entire trees and boulders washed away,” says photographer John Sirlin.
“The sound of some of the rocks coming off the mountain was just incredible.”
He had witnessed the flooding while trying to snap photos of lightning as the storm approached.
“It was more extreme than anything I’ve seen there,” added Sirlin, who has been chasing storms since the 1990s.
“There were at least two dozen cars that were vandalized and got stuck in them,” he said, adding that he saw no one injured “or high-water rescues.”
During Friday’s rainfall, large dumpsters were pushed into parked cars, causing vehicles to collide, the park said in a statement.
“In addition, many facilities are under water, including hotel rooms and corporate offices,” it added.
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Residents are also without water after a supply line that was being repaired broke and caused the system to fail.
The storm followed another major flooding in the park 120 miles northeast of Las Vegas earlier this week.
Several roads were closed Monday after being inundated with mud and debris from flash floods that also hit western Nevada and northern Arizona.