Flood Damage At Manzanar NHS Could Have Been Much Worse

UPDATED with new photos of flood damage released on July 27, 2013. Manzanar’s auto tour road re-opened on July 29.

Flood waters from heavy thunderstorms in the Eastern Sierra mountains
to the west of Manzanar National Historic Site during the overnight
hours of July 22-23, 2013, reached Old Highway 395, which now serves
as a frontage road for Manzanar NHS.
NPS Photo/Jeff Burton

LOS ANGELES — After news spread of flood damage at Manzanar National Historic Site, the result of heavy thunderstorms on the night of July 22-23, 2013, there was concern, generated by photos posted on Facebook later that day, that the damage was much more extensive than the National Park Service had initially believed.

However, while the damage is significant, those fears have proven to be unfounded.

“The real fortunate thing is that it wasn’t a huge torrent that would’ve swept a person standing there away, where lives would’ve been lost, or pick up trucks would’ve been moved,” said Les Inafuku, Superintendent, Manzanar National Historic Site. “That did happen down south, in Olancha. Some people in a four-wheel drive [vehicle] were taken for a ride, two days prior [to the flooding at Manzanar].”

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