Death reported at Burning Man as rain, flooding strand thousands in … – San Francisco Chronicle

A death was reported at Burning Man as rain and flooding forced the festival’s 73,000 attendees to shelter in place over the weekend while raffic was closed for the remainder of the pop-up metropolis, which runs through Monday.

The Pershing County Sheriff’s Office in northern Nevada said the death occurred “during this rain event,” national media reported. It offered few details, including the person’s identity or the apparent cause.

Traffic in and out of the temporary city was closed Friday afternoon as rain muddied the desert sand. Event goers, known as Burners, were discouraged from using bikes and were told to shelter in place and conserve water and food.

Attendees are typically expected to be completely self-sufficient at the event, including bringing all the water, food and shelter they need for their entire stay.

The festival remained at a standstill Saturday, with the National Weather Service forecasting showers and a possible thunderstorm into Sunday night.

With no estimated time of reopening, Burners faced the prospects of missed flights and failure to return rental cars after the festival’s closure. 

The festival’s organizers posted a survival guide online Saturday night, updating it regularly with details on public safety, travel, power and communication.

The guide advised Burners to continue to take shelter; look out for neighbors; avoid driving or bicycling on the playa; and cover shoes with socks if necessary to avoid mud building while walking around. It advised against walking long distances at night and informed Burners that buses would be available during daylight hours to shuttle them to Reno. 

Photos and videos posted to social media showed water collecting on the desert sand.

“Even walking was treacherous as thick, slimy mud clung to shoes and anything else it touched,” the Reno Gazette Journal reported.

One Burner described being stuck on a bus with 50 people for 16 hours after the entrance gate closed as soon as they arrived. “This is a disgrace,” he said on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

“They did bring us dinner yesterday and hopefully they will find a solution soon,” he posted Saturday. “Please don’t walk though.”

Thomas Wesley Pentz, a popular DJ known as Diplo, described walking 5 muddy miles out of the festival with comedian Chris Rock before they caught a ride, posting a video online.

One veteran Burning Man couple embraced the dreary weather by creating a rainy day of arts and crafts, inviting other Burners into their RV to eat snacks, drink cocktails and listen to music.

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