Popular California Destination Could Remain Closed 'For Months'

By Logan DeLoye

September 6, 2023

Flooded sign
Photo: iStockphoto

Death Valley National Park could remain closed "for months" due to lasting effects from Tropical Storm Hilary. According to KTLA, 2.2 inches of rain was dumped across the region on August 20th, causing "new gullies" to form and roads to crumble inside of the park. While 2.2 inches might not seem like an extremely extensive amount of rainfall for a normal area, it is for Death Valley National Park. Park ranger Matthew Lamar explained why two inches of rain is actually a big deal.

“Two inches of rain does not sound like a lot, but here, it really does stay on the surface. Two inches of rain here can have a dramatic impact.” KTLA mentioned that damage repair from the first tropical storm to hit California in 84 years, will cost the state nearly $6 million, and that's only to fix State Route 190 and "a small part of State Route 136" that runs through the park.

Many popular Death Valley destinations were untouched by the storm, but until certain sections are repaired, the park will remain closed to visitors. Park spokesperson Abby Wines explained that officials do not have an exact reopening date in mind yet as state workers continue to carry out reparations.

“We don’t have a timeline yet. Caltrans has said they expect to fully open 190 within three months, but they often are able to open parts of it earlier.”

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