RGJ: “Closed Through Tonight At Least”

Forget Burning Man today, people. It’s closed, and not expected to re-open until tomorrow morning at the earliest. Time to make the most of Reno instead. Reno hotels are offering room discounts to Burners, see here.


Re-blogged from the Reno Gazette-Journal:


Photo Liz/RGJ

Photo Liz Margerum/RGJ

11:05 a.m. update: Rain has closed the gates to Burning Man and they will continue to be closed through the evening, event organizers have said in a tweet.

While at least hundreds entered the gates of the annual counterculture event on Sunday and before rains poured through today, it’s estimated that thousands are on the outside looking in because of the dangers wet playa poses to vehicles, even bicycles.

“Playa out there is mucky, muddy stuff. With rain attached to it, people get stuck everywhere,” Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Lopez said. Burning Man’s traffic twitter account says the gates will be closed through tonight and possibly tomorrow morning.

TIPS FROM LIZ: Survive wet, cold at Burning Man

Those already inside the gates are asked to stay there.

According to the burning blog, rain is rare on the playa, but has happened. One incident last year halted work crews preparing for the event.

The blog, written following the 2013 rain storm, gives a list of things not to do when it rains on the playa:

  • Remain where you are.
  • DO NOT DRIVE your vehicle. You will become stuck and tear up the playa surface.
  • Do not ride your bike, carry it; playa mud clogs wheels and gears in just a few feet.
  • Relax and wait until conditions change.
  • Bring an extensive first aid kit.

Link to info on rain on playa: http://blog.burningman.com/2013/08/building-brc/and-then-the-rain-came/

10:55 a.m. update: Reno Gazette-Journal videographer Liz Margerum is stuck in traffic about three miles away from the Burning Man gate. She said an official for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management told her that everyone in line must return to Reno.

“Both sides of the road are like a parking lot,” Margerum said.

Matt Woodhill from San Francisco said, “It’s a great opportunity to be with adversity. And I think it will bring us all closer together once we get in and get over our angst. We have no idea where to go. It would be good info. We have good friends and hope to meet up with them safe.”

10:53 a.m. update: Burning Man has announced that Burning Man has been closed through tonight and possibly into Tuesday morning. Traffic is being turned back at Wadsworth.

Black Rock radio report they expect to lose power and will stop broadcasting.

Earlier story:

It’s raining on the Black Rock Desert and Burning Man has asked people to stop driving out to the playa.

“Rain continuing. Please do not come to Burning Man until you hear otherwise from official channels,” Burning Man announced in one Tweet.

“Gate Road unlikely to open anytime in the next 4 hours. Stay in Reno please,” the counter-culture festival said in another Tweet just before 8 a.m.

There have been some minor thunderstorms in the area with an increased chance of storms later in the day, National Weather Service meteorologist Shane Snyder said.

“There are no intense thunderstorms yet, but they seem to be increasing,” Snyder said. “Things are starting to pop up as the day goes along.”

The thunderstorms looming today are what Snyder called “garden-variety type thunderstorms.”

The good news is that after today, Burning Man looks dry for the rest of the week.

“The rain is done, but we could have some winds kick up towards Saturday,” Snyder said.


5 comments on “RGJ: “Closed Through Tonight At Least”

  1. I was three miles from the entrance gate and was forced to turn around. Discouraged but there were hundreds of cars stuck in the mud. I’d rather not get stuck in the mud.

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