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As Death Valley National Park gets ready to reopen its most popular sites on Saturday after heavy flooding, California national parks are still reeling from the aftermath.
After heavy rainfall caused flash flooding in the state’s mountains and deserts, Death Valley was forced to close all roads into the park on Aug. 5. The closure occurred after a historic storm wreaked havoc on the park, damaging 60 vehicles and trapping about 500 visitors and another 500 staff members.
“This was a 1,000-year flood event. It is quite possibly the most widespread catastrophic event in this park’s history,” said Ana Cholo, a Death Valley National Park spokesperson. “The park, which has approximately 1,400 miles of roads, including 200 miles of paved roadways, was affected by debris, shoulder road loss, undercutting and pavement loss.”
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Transportation provided the park with $11.7 million in emergency relief funding to repair damage from the flooding.