According to the National Weather Service, Eddy County, where most of the park is located, was under flash flood warning Saturday afternoon, and the park received 0.6 inches of rain that day. Heavy rain sent floodwaters through the park.
“Carlsbad Caverns National Park is being evacuated and will be closed until further notice,” read a Saturday evening social media post from the city government. “120-160 people took shelter in place.”
According to the National Park Service, Carlsbad Caverns is a World Heritage Site containing more than 119 limestone caves.
Her husband Richard Cardoza said she was allowed to leave the visitor center around 11:30 pm. He also described a dangerous drive out of the park.
“There were three or four places that I wouldn’t have gone to if they weren’t escorting us,” he said.
“It was scary and we thought, ‘Oh my god, are we ever going to get out of here? Monica Cardoza told CNN. “But thank God, we are safe.”
According to the National Park Service, the visitor center and cave remained closed on Sunday as maintenance teams work to assess and clear debris from the road.
CNN’s Nooran Salahih, Allison Chincher and Haley Brink contributed to this report.