Flash flood warning issued for Zion Nat’l Park; flood advisory issued for Cedar City

Aug 2, 2023, 8:51 AM | Updated: 12:23 pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — A flash flood warning has been issued for Zion National Park and surrounding towns through 3 p.m. Wednesday while a flood advisory is in effect for Cedar City.

Thunderstorms with very heavy rainfall are moving through southern Utah. The National Park Service said the Narrows and other slot canyons will stay closed until at least two hours after the flash flood warning ends.

Minor flooding is possible in Cedar City, Enoch and Hamilton Fort as storms move through the area.

Meteorologists are urging Utahns to avoid slot canyons and expect flash flooding across southern Utah on Wednesday. “Thunderstorms capable of producing torrential rain” are expected to hit southwestern Utah this morning and move east across the state.

“Today is not a good day to be in vulnerable places such as slot canyons, normally dry washes and slickrock areas,” said meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.

Flash flooding is expected — the highest warning level used by the NWS — in Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks, along with Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the San Rafael Swell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which includes Lake Powell.

A flood watch is in effect for most of central and southern Utah through Wednesday evening.

Flash flooding is probable at Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Heavy rain and frequent lightning will be the main threats, followed by small hail and gusty winds, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, Colorado, which issues warnings for parts of Utah that are east of the Colorado River, including Moab.

KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson said deep monsoon moisture will bring an elevated risk for heavy rain across the state. Rainfall rates could reach half an inch to 1 inch per hour.

Wednesday’s warning come after thunderstorms pounded parts of northern Utah on Tuesday. A flash flood warning was issued for Alta, which got almost 2 inches of rain. Crews were able to clear out mud and debris that covered state Route 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon and partially buried a car.

Thousands of Sugar House residents were without power for hours after strong winds pushed a construction crane into nearby power lines.

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Flash flood warning issued for Zion Nat’l Park; flood advisory issued for Cedar City