Don’t bother leaving for Burning Man today if you have an early-arrival pass, because Black Rock City is largely underwater, and the flooding has forced the temporary closure of the event’s front gate until 12 noon Tuesday at the earliest.

A curious footnote on the path of what we’re now calling Tropical Storm Hilary, or technically at this point, Post-Tropical Cyclone Hilary. The storm has moved into Nevada, already causing trouble in Las Vegas, and it's headed directly to the Black Rock Desert where the annual Burning Man event is held. Heavy rains battered the desert this past weekend as those with early arrival passes are starting to roll in, and as SFGate reports, forced Burning Man to close its front gates.

In a 7:40 p.m. Sunday night announcement, the official Burning Man Traffic Twitter account posted, “Due to the rain forecast Sunday 8/20 into Monday 8/21, the gate will be closed until at least noon on Monday 8/21. If you were planning to travel to BRC with a Work Access Pass, delay your plans.”

And apparently things have only gotten worse since. Just before 10:30 Monday morning, the same account announced, “The gate will remain closed until at least noon PT on Tuesday 8/22. If you were planning to travel to BRC with a Work Access Pass, delay your plans.”

So if you have that early-arrival Work Access Pass, they definitely do not want you heading out right now! “Do not drive to Gerlach, you will be turned around,” the account says.

The event technically begins for most attendees this Sunday, August 27.

The Burning Man Project says in a statement to SFist that "The set up production for Burning Man and Black Rock City in the Black Rock Desert has experienced the tail end of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Hilary, with about 0.6" of rain on the playa overnight (Sunday 8/20 to the morning of Monday 8/21)."

"Gates to Burning Man officially open on Sunday, 8/27 at 12:01 am, and we are certain this will happen as scheduled," the statement adds.

Extending the gate’s closure until Tuesday was probably the right call. As the Reno Gazette Journal points out, the region remains on a flood watch currently expected to last until 5 a.m. Tuesday.

The Gazette Journal also spoke to people who are on the ground there. "Rain has slowed down but winds are kicking up," Black Rock City census manager Andi Morency told that paper early Monday morning. "Other than this weather, it has been beautiful, cool, and just a couple quick white outs since I arrived Friday."

This is obviously not the worst suffering being wrought by Hilary. In Southern California, thousands of people lost power and a few cities lost 911 access on Sunday. The same may be coming to Nevada. And yes, in the Black Rock Desert heat, these huge flood-caused lakes can disappear in about 12 hours. But stories like this are not going to make it any easier for all the people who are still frantically trying to unload their Burning Man tickets.

Note: This post has been updated with comment from the Burning Man Project.

Related: Tropical Storm Hilary Makes Landfall in Southern California Sunday, With Heavy Rains, Landslide Risk, and Evacuations [SFist]

Image: Patrick Reeves via Facebook