SOUTHERN UTAH — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a “flash flood warning” for western Wayne, southwestern Emery and north-central Garfield counties, effective until 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Doppler radar indicated a series of thunderstorms producing heavy rain over Capitol Reef National Park. Intense rainfall is now moving into the north half of the park, and flash flooding is expected in the Grand Wash and surrounding areas.
If you are traveling through Capitol Reef though the afternoon and evening hours, please be aware of rapidly rising water in dry washes and slot canyons.
Anyone traveling near these areas through the nighttime hours is cautioned to use prudent judgment to ensure safety.
Turn around. Don’t drown.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Weather Service offer safety rules for flash flooding:
- Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation
- Flash flood waves, moving at incredible speeds, can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges and scour out new channels. Killing walls of water can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet. You will not always have warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. When a flash flood warning is issued for your area or the moment you first realize that a flash flood is imminent, act quickly to save yourself. You may have only seconds.
- Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. The road bed may not be intact under the water. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. If the vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants and sweep them away
- Do not hike rivers and especially slot canyons while flash flood warnings are in place
- Do not hike alone and always tell someone where you and your buddy and others are going
- Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canyons and washes
- Avoid already flooded and high velocity flow areas. Do not try to cross a flowing stream on foot where water is above your knees
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers
- Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions
During any flood emergency, stay tuned to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio or television, follow St. George News at STGnews.com and St. George News Facebook for weather alerts and updates relevant to Southern Utah. Information from the National Weather Service and disaster and emergency services may save your life.
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