About all of those supposed warnings and barriers

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Posted by Rob Nelson on August 20, 2004 at 02:43:03:

Hi everyone. I want to clarify a point in a discussion being held under the title "third death" regarding barricades and storm warnings and such.

The description of a man and his mother driving around Death Valley completely oblivious to the coming storm may be pretty accurate, as that description was very accurate in my case (sans Mother).

I decided to drive through Death Valley on my way back to LA, and there were NO signs and NO barriers or any warnings of any type that a huge storm was coming.

After I got trapped and had to abandon my jeep, I finally made it up to the top of 190 at 127 -- there was a Highway Patrolman there, and he said that he had been dealing with flash floods all day, since 7am -- clearly not in Death Valley, since it did not come into Death Valley until the afternoon.

But, it seems to me someone somewhere in some official somebody did know it was coming. Here is an incident from earlier in the day that merits that thought:

When I first came into Death Valley, I tried to come in through Nevada. The road was closed, but I kept on going, thinking that most than 50% of the time, those signs are old, and if I had to turn back, I was ok with that. But, there was a Nevada Cal-Trans-Equivalent group of people waiting a couple miles down the road to make sure I didn't go any further, and to let me know that there was a flash flood and that the road was closed -- and dangerous. They didn't seem to think there was too much danger going down 127 to Baker (I didn't know at the time that I would feel like going into Death Valley from 127 & 190, as I didn't know it was possible when I was talking to them). They did say that I might catch some of the storm on 127, but that I should be ok.

When I got to Death Valley and went down 190 and particularly 178 to Badwater, there were NO signs, NO Cal Trans, and NO Highway Patrol, even though it was known that there was a storm comming, or at least probably so, and that it was dangerous.

I made it out, but as I was watching the flood waters getting closer and closer to my jeep (I made it to highground by then), I decided that if my jeep washes away, I will pretty much expect the State of California to pay me for it, because it is their job, though my taxes after all, to warn people of things they know are going to happen.

I guess I mention this for two reasons: The point made in the other thread that there were barricades on 190, when there certainly were not; and, I do feel that the State has some burden to bear in the 2, now 3, deaths that occurred the other day.

Well, that's my thought on it, anyway.


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