Heavy Rains And Flooding Shut Down Burning Man Event

 September 3, 2023

On Saturday, when heavy rainfall caused unprecedented flooding, closing roads and leaving attendees stranded in the muddy desert, the popular Burning Man art festival in Black Rock, Nevada, essentially came to a halt.

Reportedly, the rainfall came swiftly, forcing “thousands of Burning Man attendees” (some 70,000) to trudge through the sloppy mud with many going barefoot or having to wear plastic bags on their feet. Organizers were also forced to close roads into the festival while advising attendees to “shelter in place and conserve food, water and other supplies.

Scheduled to end on Monday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) , organizers officially declared all access to Burning Man “closed” as of Saturday, only permitting emergency vehicles  entrance. Given the lack of access, portable toilets at the festival will not get their required service, which will likely result in overflowing sewage, leading to the possibility of exposure to trench foot and mouth disease. According to CBS News-

“Vehicular gates will be closed for the remainder of the event,” and “The Black Rock City Municipal Airport, a temporary pop-up airport used by festival goers every summer specifically for Burning Man, was closed as of Saturday evening,”

-CBS News

Further CNN reported-

“Attendees saw their campsites transformed by thick, ankle-deep mud and organizers halted vehicles from traveling in or out of the festival after heavy rains started saturating the area Friday evening,”…. “Some festival-goers hiked miles to reach main roads while others hoped storms forecasted to hit the area overnight wouldn’t worsen conditions.”

-CNN News

Sounds like the “Burning Man” event turned out to be, a “Raining Man” event this year. That Nevada can have flash flooding has likely never occurred to its organizers – they are far too focused on self-expression, nudity and absolute freedom at the event. Never-mind, planning an event that takes this kind of weather slop, into account.

One only need read the “Ten principles of Burning Man (https://burningman.org/about/10-principles/) to gain insight into the caliber of the individual in attendance. With a reported 70K signed up this year, it would seem that the BLM needs to insist on a back-up plan for just such circumstances – that’s an enormous potential for chaos, unless your “one toke over the line” and don’t care what you step in.

“You can't fix stupid. There's not a pill you can take, or a class you can go to.”

-Ron White
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