Ranger comes to rescue of group at Quail Creek after flash flood

This 2017 file photo shown for illustration purposes shows storm clouds over Quail Creek Reservoir in Washington County, Utah, July 8, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Monday’s stormy weather in Southern Utah resulted in a sticky situation for four people recreating in Quail Creek State Park after a flash flood blocked their way.

A ranger from the Utah Department of Natural Resources responded to the incident involving three men and a woman at Quail Creek Reservoir at about 7:30 p.m.

Park Manager Laura Melling said the group had walked across a sandbar that forms when the water is low near an inlet at the north end of the reservoir.

“We had a flash flood up in the drainage above the Red Cliffs – Leeds area,” Melling said.

The group called for help when they realized they couldn’t get back across the way they came as flash flood water inundated the sand bar.

“You can’t get across because there’s a ledge before you can get over to Harrisburg,” Melling said.

“The ranger went over in a boat and brought them across,” she said. “No injuries, and nobody was really in any danger – they were just a little nervous and didn’t know how to get back.”

Flash flooding in the Quail Creek area occurs during storms from water rushing down two creeks that flow into the lake from drainages in Pine Valley.

Thunderstorms over Pine Valley as seen from St. George, Utah, July 23, 2013 | File photo by Yvonne Baur for St. George News

Melling said flash flood potential at Quail Creek is fairly predictable based on cloud cover above the Pine Valley Mountains to the north.

“If there are clouds, don’t cross the stream if you’ve got to get back across it – you may not get back,” she said.

Rangers advise people to not go out on the lake during periods of high winds and heavy rainstorms.

Melling said people at the park who find themselves in need of help in these types of situations should always call 911.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • luna September 4, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Umm…I was swimming in the lake during this rescue. The lake was calm and quiet. I swim in the lake every day and the north end of the lake is badly dried up. Shame the lake isn’t properly maintained, it is a valuable resource. There was hardly any flash flooding going on in the lake on Monday. That muddy crossover must of gotten a bit muddier is all.

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