Some roads in and out of Death Valley National Park have been closed after they were inundated over the weekend with mud and debris from flash floods that also hit western Nevada and northern Arizona hard.
Officials on Sunday provided no estimate on when the roads around Death Valley would be reopened.
Motorists were also urged to avoid Southern California’s Mojave National Preserve after flooding buckled pavement on some roads. The rain also prompted closures of highways and campgrounds elsewhere, but no injuries were reported.
The storms produced torrential downpours and the National Weather Service reported that more than an inch of rain fell in 15 minutes Sunday near Kingman, Arizona, which is close to the state line with California.
In a mountainous area east of Los Angeles at the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest, mudslides sent trees and large rocks onto roads, blocking them near the city of Yucaipa.
Forecasters said more thunderstorms were possible on Monday.
Kentucky flooding death toll rises to 35 as governor says hundreds remain unaccounted for
The death toll in flood-stricken Kentucky has risen to 35, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday afternoon, as rescue workers continue to comb the region for hundreds of missing people, unable to access areas left isolated after floodwater washed away bridges and inundated communities.
“More tough news,” the governor said on Twitter. “We have confirmed more fatalities from the Eastern Kentucky floods. Our loss now stands at 35. Pray for these families and for those who are missing.”
The death toll could still rise further, according to officials, with “hundreds of unaccounted for people” at a minimum, the governor said at a news conference earlier in the day in Frankfort.
“We just don’t have a firm grasp on that. I wish we did — there are a lot of reasons why it’s nearly impossible,” he said. “But I want to make sure we’re not giving either false hope or faulty information.”
We are ending the day with more heartbreaking news out of Eastern Kentucky. We can confirm the death toll has now risen to 37, with so many more still missing. Let us pray for these families and come together to wrap our arms around our fellow Kentuckians. ^AB
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) August 1, 2022
The flooding last week swelled over roads, destroyed bridges and swept away entire homes, displacing thousands of Kentuckians, Beshear previously said.
Vital electricity, water and roadway infrastructure was also knocked out. Some of it has yet to be restored, though cell service is returning in some of the state’s hardest-hit areas, the governor said, which may help people connect with loved ones they’ve yet to contact.
“I’ve lived here in this town for 56 years, and I have never seen water of this nature,” said Tracy Neice, the mayor of Hindman, Kentucky, explaining his town’s main street looked like a stretch of river where one might go whitewater rafting. “It was just devastating to all of our businesses, all of our offices.” [8newsnow, CNN]
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