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Flash flood warning issued for southern Utah, including Capitol Reef

Jul 18, 2023, 12:36 PM | Updated: 6:56 pm

A waterfall at Capitol Reef National Park captured by a park ranger in July, 2023. (National Weathe...

A waterfall at Capitol Reef National Park captured by a park ranger in July, 2023. (National Weather Service of Salt Lake City)

(National Weather Service of Salt Lake City)

SALT LAKE CITY — Heavy rainfall in Garfield and Wayne counties in southern Utah prompted a flash flood warning for potentially life threatening conditions, including in Capitol Reef National Park and Fruita.

The National Weather Service Salt Lake City office issued the warning, stating flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly in northeastern Garfield County and south central Wayne County because of rain and between .25 and .5 inches of additional rainfall.

NWS said flooding is occurring or is imminent and urged people in the area to know their locations relative to streams, rivers or creeks that can turn deadly in heavy rains.

“Campers and hikers should avoid streams or creeks,” it said.

NWS said there could or would be life threatening flash flooding of creeks and stream, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses.

The streams and drainages impacted include Sulpher Creek, Oak Creek, Pleasant Greek, Freemont River, Sandy Creek and Deep Creek. People in the area are advised not to drive through floods.

“Most flood deaths occur in vehicles,” NWS said. “Remain alert for flooding even in locations not receiving rain. Dry washes, streams, and rivers can become raging killer currents in a matter of minutes, even from distant rainfall.”

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Flash flood warning issued for southern Utah, including Capitol Reef