SOUTHERN UTAH – The National Weather Service has issued a “Flash Flood Watch” for Washington, Iron, Beaver, Kane, Garfield and Millard counties, effective until 10 p.m. Thursday. (See ed. note)
Portions of central and Southern Utah, including the following areas: Castle Country; the central and southern mountains; San Rafael Swell; Wasatch Plateau; Book Cliffs; Glen Canyon Recreation Area/Lake Powell; south central Utah; and Utah’s Dixie, including Zion National Park.
Cities included in the watch area are: St. George, Kanab, Escalante, Bullfrog, Cove Fort, Koosharem, Fish Lake, Loa, Panguitch, Bryce Canyon, Scofield, Price, Castle Dale, Emery, Green River and Hanksville.
Tropical moisture will remain in place across central and Southern Utah through Thursday. This will result in showers and thunderstorms capable of producing very heavy rainfall through Wednesday evening, then again Thursday.
The flash flood threat will be greatest across slot canyons, slickrock areas, normally dry washes, small streams in steep terrain, and near recent burn scars. Travel may become difficult or impossible on both backcountry and maintained roadways.
A flash flood watch means conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is very dangerous.
Anyone traveling near the affected 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.
Ed. note: Alert time and affected areas updated per new information from National Weather Service.
- ‘Flash Flood Watch’ issued for most of Southern Utah
- Flash flood warning issued for 3 So. Utah counties; Capitol Reef National Park
- UPDATE: All-day flash flood warning for Kane, Garfield, Washington counties
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