Heavy rains led to flooding within Lake Mead National Recreation Area July 25, causing multiple road closures. There were no reports of injuries.
“The safety of our visitors and employees is always the top priority,” said Lizette Richardson, park superintendent. “Our employees did an excellent job responding to the monsoon rains and flash flooding , ensuring park visitors and fellow staff members were safe and accounted for.”
During this string of storms, the park setup an incident command to dispatch personnel to multiple areas where response was needed. Lake Mead’s pilot flew over the park to quickly locate washed out roads and areas where visitors were present.
According to the National Weather Service, Willow Beach received 4.72 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. The access road was closed around 7:30 a.m. Around 20 visitors, employees and marina staff were in the area at the time. Visitors were escorted out of the area by 1:30 p.m. The road is closed until further notice.
At Pearce Ferry Road, a 28-passenger tour bus was stuck in the area due to running water. The passengers were evacuated via a high-clearance vehicle. The road is muddy, but is passable. Four-wheel drive is recommended.
Temple Bar access road is closed outside the park due to flooding across the Detrital Wash. Nelson Landing Road is also closed. Both roads will remain closed until further notice.
Due to debris on the roadways, Cottonwood Cove access road had restricted access, and South Cove Road was reduced to one lane. These roads are now open.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is 1.5 million acres. The park has more than 240 miles of paved roads and 800 miles of gravel or dirt roads. Over the next several days, rangers, maintenance crews and the park pilot will assess the damage and make repairs, as needed.
Visitors traveling on backcountry roads should proceed with extra caution. On most of these roads, four-wheel drive is always recommended.
Monsoons season occurs June 15 through Sept. 30 at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The park partners with the National Weather Service to keep informed of forecasted storms.
Editor’s Note: For video of the morning flooding at Willow Beach, visit https://twitter.com/lakemeadnps/status/889944271381422081.