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Death Valley National Park, famous for its parched, otherworldly landscapes, closed completely Friday due to historic rainfall and flash flooding. About 500 visitors and 500 staff members were stuck in the park after the closures, with no major injuries reported, though about 60 vehicles were damaged.

The park experienced “unprecedented amounts of rainfall” of 1.46 inches measured at Furnace Creek, which caused substantial flooding. The rainfall total is in line with the previous daily record of 1.47 inches.

No additional rainfall is expected Friday, but the incident marks the second time flash flooding has been seen in park this week. On Monday, flooding affected many roads, and a Facebook post from the park showed a vehicle buried up to its headlights in dirt and gravel.

Highway 190 is closed due to flash flooding in Death Valley National Park on Friday.(National Park Service)

“The flood waters pushed dumpster containers into parked cars, which caused cars to collide into one another,” the park said in a statement. “Additionally, many facilities are flooded including hotel rooms and business offices.”

Park officials noted that most of the vehicles damaged were in a parking lot.

As of Friday evening, most of the visitors remained in the developed area of the park, with even a few managing to leave the park as crews managed to create makeshift roadways by moving mounds of gravel.

“All roads into and out of the park are currently closed and will remain closed until park staff can assess the extensiveness of the situation,” the park said in its statement.


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Reopening of some roads had been expected to take around six hours from Friday morning. As of 6 p.m., however, all roads remained closed and it was unclear when they would reopen.

The last time closure of this size occurred in Death Valley was in August 2004, when a rainstorm caused flash flooding, said Abby Wines, Death Valley’s public information officer. The rain totals for that incident are unknown.

The park did not open for 10 days, Wines said.

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2 New Suspects Nabbed For Murder Of 17-Year-Old From Spring Valley

Two additional suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a 17-year-old Hudson Valley teen earlier this summer.

In Rockland County on Thursday, Aug. 11, Spring Valley Police arrested two suspects for the Friday, July 8 killing of Treynahel Cineus. 

Ahmad Williams, age 22, and Brian Thomas, age 20, both residents of Haverstraw were arrested at the Westchester County Jail where they were being held for other crimes, said Det. Matthew Galli, of the Spring Valley Police.

Another man, Anthony Mitchell, age 23, of Haverstraw, was arrested in July in connection with the murder.

  • Earlier Story: Haverstraw Man Charged With Shooting Death Of Spring Valley Teen, Police Say

Cineus was found shot to death around 2:30 a.m. when Spring Valley Police responded to the parking lot of 150 West Eckerson Road for a report of a man who had been shot, Galli said.

Arriving officers immediately found a young man suffering from what appeared to be a gunshot wound, Galli said.

They attempted life-saving measures which were continued by medical personnel who arrived shortly thereafter. Cineus was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital via ambulance where he died from his injuries.

Both men were charged with murder, attempted murder, and criminal possession of a weapon.

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