Although typically known for its extreme heat and dry conditions, Burning Man‘s Black Rock Desert location is experiencing flash flooding due to heavy rainfall brought by Tropical Storm Hilary, resulting in delays to the construction of the festival’s independent camps.
This year’s burn is set for August 27 to September 4, but the intense dust in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert turns to thick mud in unusual instances of heavy rain.
As a result, Burning Man Project staff and participants with early access passes for building independent camps have been turned away from entering the desert until further notice.
The Burning Man Project confirmed in an email to pass holders that the Playa will remain closed until Noon on Wednesday, August 23 at the earliest.
In a statement obtained by Business Insider, organizers said “We have 1,500 staff onsite waiting for the surface to dry, and we are asking all early arrival workers and campers to delay their travel.”
A Burning Man traffic update obtained by The San Francisco Standard reads, “Large amounts of the playa remain either covered in standing water or damp & impassable, but strong winds are helping to disperse & dry up the standing water.”
Photos of the flooded playa surfaced on Facebook and Reddit yesterday, as seen below, along with warnings for participants to stay away from the site for another two days.
Tropical Storm Hilary has brought record-breaking rainfall to locations all over the western half of the United States, resulting in the cancellation and postponement of a number of music events in the region including the joint event from Factory 93 and Dreamstate, Interstellar.
Although rare, this is not the first time that Burning Man has dealt with delays due to rain. In 2014, standing water stopped thousands of “burners” from arriving on the first day of the festival.
Pack your water wings!
by u/NocturnalNess in BurningMan
Featured image from Angie Hong via Facebook.