Nov 9, 2015

After historic flooding, Death Valley gears up for 'a long, hard recovery'

Death Valley, CA
USA
by
Louis Sahagun
,
Los Angeles Times
A 100-yard-long section of newly paved Highway 267 in Grapevine Canyon, a two-lane road designed to withstand severe flooding, was lifted up by roiling water and then slammed down on boulders in Death Valley National Park. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
A 100-yard-long section of newly paved Highway 267 in Grapevine Canyon, a two-lane road designed to withstand severe flooding, was lifted up by roiling water and then slammed down on boulders in Death Valley National Park. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

I's not unusual for thunderstorms to drench Death Valley this time of year, but this October was different. The northern section of the park was hammered by back-to-back storms, followed by a powerful weather system that dropped nearly 3 inches of rain in five hours, triggering a 1,000-year flood event that battered historic structures, chewed through roadways and altered the rugged landscape with layers of mud and rocks. It was the wettest October on record in the area, which normally receives about 4 inches of rain a year