Burning Man 2014 Off to Rainy Start; UPDATE: Gates Are Now Open Again

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The Playa is under water...

Update (Tuesday am): Gates are open again.

In the weeks leading up to this year’s Burning Man, the build team was posting updates on the official blog detailing out the weather stalls that generally accompany any year of setting up the yearly festival for the incoming participants, and nothing seemed too out of the ordinary. This morning, however, was a bit more than they could ever prepare for.

Today the official team behind the yearly gathering announced that they had to close the gates for any new cars arriving or entering today, which is a fairly large set of the playa population. This photo taken from the official webcam shows how devastating a downpour is on the unique environment out there.

rainybm_1

And that, officially, just ruined about 30,000 people’s day. Nobody can enter or leave when rain hits the desert like that, because it clumps. A lot. Cars were turned around and sent back to Reno.

Here’s the official message from the organizers:

RAINSTORMS CLOSE BURNING MAN UNTIL TUESDAY

Black Rock City, August 25, 2014 — Organizers of the annual Burning Man event are asking any participants traveling to the event now to postpone their arrival until at least Tuesday morning. Black Rock City has shut down following rainstorms that left standing water on the playa, leaving it un-drivable.

Nevada Highway Patrol will be directing traffic away from Highway 447 at Wadsworth. Local law enforcement have also begun turning around traffic at the event entrance on Highway 34 northeast of Gerlach. Drivers are being instructed to find a safe location to park until the expected re-opening of the event on Tuesday.

Organizers expect the rain to dissipate and the playa surface to dry out by midday Tuesday and participants will be allowed to enter the event again.