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12-hour Power Outage Scheduled for Saturday, July 9

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avatar Storm Damaged Roads and Knocked Out Death Valley Power
July 04, 2016 04:47PM
DEATH VALLEY, CA –As of 10:00am on July 2, Death Valley National Park does not have electricity or telephones due to a storm the night of July 1. People planning to visit Death Valley National Park this weekend should consider changing their plans. If they drive through the park, they should exercise extreme caution due to storm damage to roads.

Early reports indicate that at least one power pole is down between Death Valley Junction and Furnace Creek. It is not known when power will be restored.

Highway CA-190 is fully open, but drivers should be cautious due to debris on the road and washed out road shoulders. A vehicle got pushed just off the fog line near Zabriskie Pointand is stuck in mud. It should be able to be extracted fairly easily by a tow truck.

Badwater Road is open for 47 miles to Ashford Mills. The Jubilee Pass section of Badwater Road, the connection to Shoshone, California, remains closed due to damage from floods in October 2015. That road is under construction currently. The July 2 storm undercut pavement and caused new damage to that section of road. The National Park Service originally planned to open Jubilee Pass in late July, but this storm's damage may cause delays.

Furnace Creek Resort is using a generator to keep the restaurant and gas station open. Stovepipe Wells has closed their restaurant and gas station. Panamint Springs Resort is fully open.
avatar Power Outage in Death Valley Continues
July 04, 2016 04:48PM
DEATH VALLEY, CA –The power outage in Death Valley National Park is likely to continue until late Sunday, July 3. Hotels in the park are closed and travelers are discouraged from visiting the park this weekend. A thunderstorm the evening of Friday, July 1 damaged a section of powerline near the park's eastern border. Southern California Edison projects having electricity restored to the park by the end of Sunday, July 3.

Drivers should be careful driving in the park. CA-190 is open, but there is light debris on the road and eroded shoulders. North Highway (also known as Scotty's Castle Road) is completely closed. Titus Canyon is closed.

Jubilee Pass, the southern section of Badwater Road connecting the park to the town of Shoshone, remains closed from damage in October's storms. Fortunately, initial reports that this section of road sustained new damage were incorrect, and Jubilee Pass should be open by late July.

Two of the park's lodges are closed due to the power outage. Furnace Creek Resort and Stovepipe Wells are closed July 2 and will reopen when power is restored.

Travelers are encouraged not to come to Death Valley National Park this weekend. Temperatures are forecasted to be around 116 degrees and road damage increases the risk of travel.
avatar Death Valley Recovers in Aftermath of Storm
July 04, 2016 04:50PM
DEATH VALLEY, CA –Power has been restored to National Park Service facilities and hotels in Death Valley National Park, although services are limited and some roads remain closed.

A thunderstorm during the evening of Friday, July 1 damaged a section of powerline near the park's eastern border. Southern California Edison was able to fully restore electricity after a 38 hour outage early this morning.

Furnace Creek Visitor Center is open. Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Hotel and related services are closed for today and tonight but will reopen tomorrow. The gas station at Furnace Creek is open for business. Stovepipe Wells Village is open with limited availability, including the hotel, store, and gas station;call 760-786-2387 to check for room availability. The saloon at Stovepipe Wells will serve a limited dinner menu starting at 5:30 pm. Panamint Springs Resort is open;call 775-482-7680 to make a reservation.

In addition to the electrical outage, the storm caused flash flooding in the north end of the park. North Highway, also known as Scotty's Castle Road, is closed, as is Titus Canyon. The Beatty Cutoff Road is closed today—traffic to and from Beatty can enter the park on Nevada Route 374 (Daylight Pass Road). Jubilee Pass—the southern section of Badwater Road connecting the park to the town of Shoshone—remains closed from damage in last October's storms.

The electrical outage created dangerous conditions for residents of Death Valley, as highs yesterday reached 115 degrees F. As temperatures inside homes climbed into the 90s, many park residents evacuated to Beatty, Pahrump, and Lathrop Wells Nevada. The Nye County Emergency Management Team and American Red Cross assisted with evacuations of residents and hotel guests.

High winds flipped a small plane parked on the remote landing strip in Saline Valley, stranding passengers overnight. Winds also damaged several roofs in the ranger housing area, and damage assessments are continuing.

Scotty's Castle has been closed and is undergoing extensive repairs since a devastating flash flood in October 2015. Although rangers found no major damage after this recent storm, maintenance staff will fully assess the buildings for new damage later this week.

Visitation in summer remains high, as travelers hope to experience the park's temperature extremes. Death Valley holds the world record for the hottest temperature ever recorded, 134 degrees F, set on July 10, 1913. As we approach the anniversary date, rangers recommend that visitors tour by car rather than hiking and carry plenty of water. Visit http://www.nps.gov/deva for more tips on summer visits.
Re: Storm Damaged Roads and Knocked Out Death Valley Power
July 04, 2016 07:10PM
Thanks for all these updates. I hadn't heard about these storms coming through and causing so much disruption. Interesting to hear about the park evacuations due to having no AC.
avatar Re: Storm Damaged Roads and Knocked Out Death Valley Power
July 04, 2016 07:57PM
Quote
SteveHall
Interesting to hear about the park evacuations due to having no AC.

I certainly wouldn't stick around.
avatar 12-hour Power Outage Scheduled for Saturday, July 9
July 08, 2016 01:51AM

This complex of three power poles was struck by lightning and burned, stopping electrical supply to Death Valley.

DEATH VALLEY, CA –Most of Death Valley National Park will be without electricity on Saturday, July 9 from 6:00am until 6:00pm. Visitor and employee safety is a concern because temperatures are forecasted to reach 116 °F.

Southern California Edison will need to turn off the power to finalize repairs of damage caused by a storm and flash flood on July 1. All park hotels will remain open during this power outage, but travelers might have more limited options for food.

A thunderstorm on July 1 damaged a three-pole complex, which cut electrical supply to Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley. After 38 hours, Southern California Edison was able to temporarily restore power by repairing one of the three poles. The repairs on July 9 will be a more permanent fix, reducing the likelihood that a future storm will knock out power in the same location.

The National Park Service has been assessing damage and making repairs from back-to-back storms on June 30 and July 1. Fortunately no new damage happened to the historic buildings at Scotty's Castle. Scotty's Castle is closed since October pending about $26 million in repairs, and should reopen in 2019. The Jubilee Pass section of Badwater Road has also been closed since October. Contractors are repairing it currently. It also did not receive significant new damage, and the through route to CA-178 and Shoshone should be open by early August.

Beatty Cutoff Road reopened yesterday after debris was moved off of it. Death Valley National Park has been assisted by road crews from Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Sequoia National Park so far. Further assistance is likely from other parks. The following roads are closed until repairs can be made: North Highway (Scotty's Castle Road) from CA-190 to Grapevine, Ubehebe Crater Road, Big Pine-Death Valley Road, Titus Canyon Road, Mustard Canyon, Salt Creek, and Saline Valley Bat Road (to Saline Valley Warm Springs).

Visitation in summer remains high, as travelers hope to experience the park's temperature extremes. Death Valley holds the world record for the hottest temperature ever recorded, 134 degrees F, set on July 10, 1913. As we approach the anniversary date, rangers recommend that visitors tour by car rather than hiking and carry plenty of water. Visit http://www.nps.gov/deva for more tips on summer visits.
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