Historical Amargosa Opera House broken by flash flood

DEATH VALLEY JUNCTION — Aug. 4 was a sunny day in this dusty town in between Amargosa Valley and Shoshone.

The flood that soaked the junction seemingly came out of nowhere, with no warning.

“I walked out of Marta’s house and it was good out — no rain. I was heading out and it looked like laundry soap was rounding the home. Before I knew it, it was just enveloping the town. I didn’t hear something. I was trudging by way of knee-deep water and muck,” stated Rhonda Shade, who manages the famed Amargosa Opera Residence.

Rain hardly comes to this desert town on the outskirts of Death Valley National Park. According to the day clerk of the Amargosa Hotel, Kathy Cheney, the last large rain to cause any genuine damage happened in 2004. “When it does rain, the water all comes down from Death Valley,” she stated.

This time the water poured by way of a broken levy at the intersection of Highway 190 going to Death Valley and Highway 127. Shade said the water flooded the opera home and damaged the floor and walls extensively.

“The water and mud was ankle deep in the opera property,” she remarked. The water then went past the hotel and flooded the cafe and gas station. The hotel suffered tiny damage.

That morning no a single paid interest to the scattered clouds.

“Our night-keep did notice dark clouds in the path of Death Valley in the morning, but nobody paid as well considerably attention to that. The water lasted quite a even though,” Shade explained. “It was just heartbreaking to watch the water. There were even crews out from Cal Trans fixing the road, but they did practically nothing to support our flooding. I just thought that one thing would occur and the crew would quit the water. We are speaking about historical buildings right here. The intersection will always be right here.”

Shade stated no estimates have been created to figure out the cost of the flood damage to the historical buildings on the property. “I am sure it is an astronomical quantity,” she said.

She then described the wood floors in the opera residence as being warped and buckled.

“They need to have to be repaired, but there was in depth harm to the rest of the property as properly. What we are attempting to do is to get in touch with genuine skilled grant writers since this home needs a lot of funds. I don’t believe $ five,000 will fix the troubles right here,” Shade commented.

She said California senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, had been contacted and a representative from Feinstein’s office is coming out to meet with them.

“Again, with this getting registered as a national historic internet site there has to be a bigger picture for the Junction with funding and preservation and restoration,” she lamented.

The flood damage was the worst birthday present Marta Becket has ever received. The desert’s renowned dancing queen and owner of the Amargosa Opera Home, turned 90 on Aug. 9. Becket has lived and performed at Death Valley Junction for the previous 50 years.

Aaron Sharp, a physical therapist for Affiliated Chiropractic, attempted to deliver some sunlight in an otherwise dark predicament. He had heard from Becket correct after the flood when she came to Affiliated for physical therapy.

Becket told sharp all about her troubles. Sharp gathered up a 16-man crew and showed up at Becket’s birthday celebration. He didn’t even know it was her birthday.

“We repaired the levy on the highway with gear lent to us by Brian Wulfenstein of Wulfenstein Building,” Sharp mentioned. “We also helped put up a historical marker commemorating Marta’s 50 years at the Junction and we cleaned off the mud on the walkways. When we got into the opera house it looked like water had come in. The floors have been buckled and there was a lot of dirt in there. We vacuumed and swept the floors, but could not do something for the floors.”

The volunteers donated about four hours of time to do the operate.

The heavy function on the levy couldn’t have been completed without having the generous donation of a skid-steer to the workers by Wulfenstein. “I had just met Aaron and his loved ones who had just moved into our new ward. He place out a text message and I referred to as him. I told him I couldn’t be out there to help, so I just wanted to do anything for him and sent him and Marta. Marta has accomplished so much for our community. Aaron is a great guy for doing this,” Wulfenstein stated.

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