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Road closures in Death Valley extended for another week

You’ll have to wait at least another week to drive through Death Valley National Park after historic rainfall led to severe flooding Friday, according to the California Department of Transportation.

The department expects roads through the park will stay closed through Aug. 17.

The road closure near Death Valley now extends from state Route 190, the primary route through the park, from Trona Wildrose Road and Panamint Valley Road to state Route 127 in Death Valley Junction. State Route 178 from Shoshone to the Lower Badwater Gate in Death Valley is also closed into next week.

The department previously said the route would be ready to reopen Tuesday after severe flooding buried cars and roads in debris. About 30 miles of road were partially or fully covered Friday. By Tuesday, 20 miles of road had been cleared, or around 60 percent of the debris.

National Weather Service meteorologist Daniel Berc described the storm as a “1,000-year event” after 1.46 inches of rain hit the park and stranded 1,000 people for hours.

“I am proud of how quickly our crews have responded, clearing roads and creating routes for park visitors to leave safely, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us,” said Caltrans District 9 Director Ryan Dermody in a news release. “As our crews continue to remove debris, they have found several damaged sections of highway with complete shoulder loss, damage to asphalt, and undercutting of the roadway.”

Dermody said the department would continue to work closely with park officials to repair roads.

The department advised drivers to respect closure points and to use its QuickMap site for updates on road closures.

Mojave preserve roads closed

Paved roads into Mojave National Preserve, in eastern California and south of Death Valley, remain closed due to last week’s flash flooding, officials said Monday.

“Kelbaker, Cima, Essex, Zzxyz, Lanfair, Black Canyon, and Morning Star Roads are still closed,” park officials tweeted.

Contact Taylor Lane at tlane@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tmflane on Twitter.

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