An intense storm hit the high desert area in July 2013, wreaking havoc in Ridgecrest and surrounding areas. The event, called a micro-burst, lasted only a few minutes, but the damage is still being repaired. The rains and subsequent flash-flooding destroyed portions of the Trona-Wildrose Highway that leads from Trona to Panamint Valley in Death Valley National Park. Portions of the Panamint Valley Road have been closed due to the flooding as well. Aside from being a nuisance for travelers, the road closure has put a damper on local tourism.
Bob Brown, supervisor for Inyo County’s road department, said Wednesday that crews have been working tirelessly since the Thanksgiving weekend to make the repairs. He said an emergency opening of one lane of the road should be made by the end of the working day on Friday, “If everything goes OK.”