A flash flood resulting from a 1,000-year rainfall event has caused significant damage throughout Death Valley National Park and has forced the iconic Scotty’s Castle to close for at least up to a year, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The one-year-minimum closure means Scotty’s Castle will be closed this winter, which is the busiest time of the year.
A storm cell stopped over Scotty’s Castle on October 18 and dumped nearly three inches in over five hours, according Death Valley National Park.
Scotty’s Castle, an ornate mansion built as a vacation getaway in the 1930s, was hit with a significant amount of mud and debris, causing tens of millions of dollars in damage:
The flash flooding demolished water and power lines, caused the Amargosa River to reappear, submerged the salt flats at Badwater, and resulted in Lake Manly being reborn, the park reported.
The water poured into Devil’s Hole and disturbed the endangered pupfish, as the underwater video attested.
Ten miles of roadway leading to Scotty’s Castle was destroyed, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“It took us a while to get up to Scotty’s because the road was gone,” Death Valley National Park spokeswoman Linda Slater told LA Times. “The road was completely washed away.”
Exhibits in the visitor’s center were heavily damaged or destroyed as mud washed in and settled inside. Slater told the Times the cleanup, restoration and rebuilding of roads will be lengthy and costly. Structural engineers were on the scene Tuesday.
“I’m just not ready to give a figure yet,” Slater told LA Times. “[But] it will be tens of millions of dollars.”
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