ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning Sunday for parts of Southern Utah due to a heavy thunderstorm near Capitol Reef National Park. The warning is in affect until 5:30 p.m.
Flash flooding is expected to occur across the northeastern Garfield and south-central Wayne counties, including Pleasant Creek and Capitol Gorge inside Capitol Reef National Park, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.
How to stay safe
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.
Flooding is occurring or is imminent. It is important to know where you are relative to streams, rivers or creeks which can become killers in heavy rains.
Campers and hikers should avoid streams or creeks in the Capitol Reef area.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Weather Service offer the following safety rules for flash flooding:
- 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 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 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio, commercial radio or television and follow St. George News at STGnews.com and St. George News Facebook for weather alerts and updates relevant to Southern Utah.