Thousands of people have been stranded at the Burning Man festival, an annual celebration of art, music and counterculture vibes in a remote patch of Nevada desert, after torrential rains turned roads and grounds into muck.
Participants have been told to conserve food and water, and the authorities are investigating the death of one participant.
Worsening conditions and heavier rainfall yesterday could delay people leaving the event, which ends today and in normal conditions causes a long backup of traffic.
A White House official said that President Biden had been briefed on the situation and that administration officials were in touch with state and local officials. Accounts of the mud and efforts to leave ricocheted across social media and became something of a sensation in themselves.
Each year the festival hosts more than 70,000 people from around the world to a desolate, arid landscape more than 140 miles from the nearest city. The only access is via either a two-lane rural highway or a small, temporary airport, both of which were closed yesterday.