Zion, Springdale, Rockville hit hard by rain, floods

The Virgin River rushes through a canyon after more than 1/3 inch of rain falls at Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, Aug. 10, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News

SPRINGDALE — Remnants of Tropical Storm Javier tiptoed into parts of Southern Utah Wednesday, then viciously kicked the door open in some communities, dropping over 1/3 inch of rain at Zion National Park.

Cars line up to leave Zion National Park after a storm dumped over 1/3 inch of rain on the park Wednesday, Springdale, Utah, Aug. 10, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News
Cars line up to leave Zion National Park after a storm dumped over 1/3 inch of rain on the park Wednesday, Springdale, Utah, Aug. 10, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News

Springdale and Rockville were hard hit, with the Virgin River rushing to almost full capacity in some areas. Water cascaded to the river from the higher elevations, leaving cars underwater and mud and silt behind on the roadways as the water receded.

The National Weather Service recorded 0.36 inches of rain at the Zion National Park weather station. Park officials responded by closing the park to visitors, and asking those in the park to leave.

And leave they did.

Cars were backed up for hours on state Route 9 leading to LaVerkin. At one of the local gasoline stations in town, patrons were filling up and leaving quickly, most of them too hurried to stop and answer questions.

Large chunks of hail fell in Kanab during a fast-moving thunderstorm Wednesday, July 10, 2016, Kanab, Utah |Photo courtesy Bennett Lee Brooks, St. George News
Large chunks of hail fell in Kanab during a fast-moving thunderstorm Wednesday, July 10, 2016, Kanab, Utah |Photo courtesy Bennett Lee Brooks, St. George News

Some local businesses also closed early. Hail fell at one point, piling up into mounds of snow-white balls of ice on the ground near doorways.

Rockville/Springdale Fire District personnel were at the station prepared should their services be needed. But aside from some early flooding, they said the situation was pretty well under control.

Aside from a report of a rock that tumbled down and struck a car, and a report from Zion National Park stating a house-sized boulder had come down on the east end of the main park road near Canyon Junction, blocking the road to the east gate, things seemed pretty much under control by Wednesday evening.

Kanab also was battered by heavy rainfall including reports of hail, some ice chunks measuring larger than a quarter.

The forecast calls for more rain Wednesday night, then clearing Thursday and clear skies for the next week, Highs at Zion National Park will range from the mid 90s to low 100s, and overnight lows will be in the 60s.

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Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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