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.


Weather Proof Your Burn

The desert is usually hot, dry, sunny, and very dusty. It can get cold at night. Dust storms can remove all visibility, and can affect travel plans and navigation. Strong winds can come at any time. Rain can turn the Playa into mud that cars get stuck in. We hear that trailers have been blowing over, the airport is underwater. If you can’t get a plane and you’re thinking you could take the bus instead, you’re SOL. The Burner Express is no longer selling tickets. If you were planning to fly in and have to change your plans, try rideshare.burningman.com.

Some tips to weather the storm from my friends at Ohm Kamp. They’re going to be in Yurts but these are useful for tent campers too:

Atari says:

photo by Peter Ruprecht

photo by Peter Ruprecht

So i just came back from making love to the playa and watched 3 yurt foam boards fly 20 ft overhead and get lost in a dust storm. To everyone / anyone who is in a yurt, please make sure u have the following three things :
1. Rope for the roof halo
2. Tie downs (either rope or ratchet straps)
3. Rebar (there are pre-bent ones at Home Depot)
These three things are Essential to keeping ur yurt from blowing away when it’s up and please remember when ur setting up to make sure the foam boards are tied down as wind picks up within seconds and can send it sailing across the playa. Saw one fly 20 ft in the air and disappear into a dust storm today

Sick Dog says:

burning man stormHere are a few things to keep in mind for yourself if there is heavy or continuous rain:
Stay in camp! You should already have everything you need there
Don’t drive your cars, art cars, or bikes. The playa mud sticks and sticks and sticks!
Tune in to BMIR 94.5FM for information as they will provide info on weather
Bring a bucket and garbage bags! This will act as a toilet for you and others if it is impossible to get to the toilets (do a search for Lugable Loo for ideas on how to make one or where to buy one)
Cover/secure/turn off any electrical for your camp that may be affected by the rain water
Check your infrastructure to make sure it is secure if winds or other conditions pick up
And relax! Socialize and continue to enjoy your time on the playa (and think about the cool pictures and stories you will get to share!)
There are other personal tips as well like:
Bring a raincoat
Keep a set of dry clothes in a bag (good for rain or the day you leave BM)
Park your vehicle or trailer on a piece of wood (so in case of heavy rain the tires don’t sink) hopefully any rain during the years event will be small and fun!

Also check out our tips for bringing a camera from Curious Josh.

photo by Atari

photo by Atari – that is one Giant of a Man