12-inch Rainfall Overwhelmed W. Texas Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Superintendent Dennis A. Vásquez announced today (Sept. 12) that most of the park has been closed, until further notice, due to heavy rains and flooding.
The closures affect the following areas of the park: McKittrick Canyon, Frijole Ranch, the Pinery, the Pine Springs Campground, Williams Ranch, the Salt Basin Dunes, Dog Canyon and all backcountry areas, unpaved roads and trails. Park staff is evacuating visitors from the Pine Springs Campground. However, the Pine Springs Visitor Center remains open to provide information and assist motorists, according to a news release.
The Texas Department of Transportation is reporting that FM 1437, FM 2249 and FM1575, in the Dell City area, are closed due to high water and flooding. The New Mexico Department of Transportation is reporting that NM 137 to Dog Canyon is closed between mile marker 1 and mile marker 54. The National Weather Service reported that the Bowl had recorded 12.41 inches of rain during the last 24 hours, while Dog Canyon has recorded 9.50 inches, McKittrick Canyon has recorded 7.32 inches and the Pinery has recorded 5.12 inches. Most of the creeks and arroyos in the park are showing high water and flooding.
“We have not seen rainfall like this in a long time. Creeks and arroyos are running very high and unpaved roads are impassible at this time. As always, our primary concern is for the safety of park visitors and staff, and for the protection of park resources. With current conditions and the continued forecast for heavy rain and potential for even higher waters and flooding, I have decided that the best course of action, at this time, was to close the affected areas of the park,” said Vásquez.