LOCAL NEWS

Crews Begin Cleanup Work After Flash Flooding In Zion NP, Southern Utah

Jun 30, 2021, 5:53 AM | Updated: 1:33 pm
(National Park Service)...
(National Park Service)
(National Park Service)

SPRINGDALE, Utah — Cleanup crews were working to reopen state Route 9 through Zion National Park after heavy rain and flash flooding damaged the roadway Tuesday.

Park officials said a little over an inch of rain fell in an hour, forcing them to close canyons and S.R. 9.

“Visitors should expect traffic delays, debris on roads, and potential closures of trails and parking areas as clean-up continues and damage is being assessed,” park officials said Wednesday morning. “The oversized vehicle lot is closed until further notice. The park has very limited oversized vehicle parking due to this closure. Visitors should plan on parking in town where oversized parking is available on Lion Boulevard and other parking areas.”

Drivers can use S.R. 59 from Hurricane to Fredonia, Arizona, and S.R. 14 from Cedar City to Long Valley Junction as alternate east/west routes to U.S. Highway 89.

Washington County officials said the ground is exceptionally dry and could not absorb heavy rain that fell in parts of the county, causing flash flooding and run-off.

More thunderstorms are expected to hit the area Wednesday afternoon, and meteorologists said flash flooding was “probable” in the state’s “Mighty 5” national parks and across southern Utah.

“Plan ahead and be prepared,” Zion NP officials said. “Always be aware of the threat of storms and lightning and be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions. Flash floods, often caused by storms miles away, are a very real danger and can be life-threatening.”

Residents in Springdale were working to clean up mud and debris Wednesday afternoon, and the city’s mayor told KSL’s Alex Cabrero he was preparing to declare a state of emergency with damage estimates in the millions of dollars.

 

Cleanup efforts were also underway across southern Utah after flash floods hit Washington and Kane counties, flooding several homes.

“We haven’t seen rain for months. But when we finally got some, it came down so fast that nobody was really prepared for it,” said Colorado City, Arizona, resident Ruby Williams.

No injuries were reported in Colorado City or neighboring Hildale on the Utah side of the state line.

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Crews Begin Cleanup Work After Flash Flooding In Zion NP, Southern Utah