Floods in Death Valley – level 3
After a record rainfall, flash floods stranded about 1,000 people in California’s Death Valley National Park, one of the world’s hottest and driest spots.
A torrential shower unleashed the floods and at least 4.3 centimeters of rain fell at Furnace Creek. By comparison, the park’s average annual rainfall is 4.8 centimeters, which makes it the driest place in North America. Furnace Creek has the record for the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth at 56.7 degrees Celsius.
Flash floods from summer rains are a natural part of Death Valley’s ecology, and they shape its dramatic canyon landscape. However, floods of such scale last happened in August 2004, and they killed two people and forced a 10-day closure of all the roads.
Difficult words: torrential shower (rain that falls rapidly and with force), unleash (to cause something strong or violent to happen), ecology (plants, animals, water, and geology).
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