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Burning Man: What you need to know about mud and flooding

Thousands of Burning Man festival attendees in the Nevada desert were stranded there on Sunday after heavy rain Friday night led authorities to close the road into and out of the makeshift town.

More rain was expected on Sunday and organizers asked attendees to conserve food and water. The main event of the festival, the burning of a sculpture in the likeness of a man, has been postponed for a second time to Monday evening.

Police were also investigating the death of a person at the festival on Sunday.

Here’s what’s known so far about this year’s Burning Man.

The festival is held annually in Black Rock City, a temporary community created in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada.

Each year, it welcomes more than 70,000 people from all over the world to this desolate and arid landscape. These people usually have to deal with fine dust, not mud and rain.

It is far from major cities – the closest is Reno, which is over 220 km away.

To get to Burning Man, people either have to drive down the two-lane rural road to the festival gate or fly to its small temporary airport.

Both were still closed on Sunday, authorities said. The rain made the road in and out of Burning Man too wet and muddy to drive on, officials said.

Muddy conditions also prevented event organizers from moving heavy equipment, including for fire safety reasons, before burning the human sculpture as planned on Sunday evening, according to a report. social media account affiliated with the Burning Man Project.

Some people walked from the festival to the main roads and hitchhiked.

In an article on Xthe social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Diplo, the DJ and producer, said he and Chris Rock had “walked 5 miles through mud” to get out.

Some four-wheel-drive vehicles managed to squeeze through the mud and drive away, Burning Man organizers said.

Organizers warned that other vehicles were getting stuck in the mud, making it harder for everyone to get out. Burning Man organizers have asked people to avoid driving on Sunday.

Steven Adelman, vice president of the Event Safety Alliance, which recommends safety practices for live events, said he’s had to deal with unexpected mud at music festivals.

“Basically, you have to mobilize all the backhoes, tow trucks and other types of vehicles within a radius of hundreds of miles, and that’s probably what they’ll have to do,” Mr Adelman said. “And they’ll have to come from hundreds of miles because the closest metropolitan area to Black Rock City is Reno.”

A flood watch and flood advisory were in effect Sunday for parts of north-central and northwestern Nevada.

Festival organizers said they expected “significant” weather on Sunday, including rain and high winds.

Orlando Mayorquin contributed reports.


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