ST. GEORGE — The recent flash flood in Zion National Park and Springdale has claimed another victim, and it’s a place where people usually turn to for help.
The Zion Canyon Medical Clinic suffered extensive damage in the flood, forcing it to close its doors.
A YouTube video provided by a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the clinic’s repairs shows the moment the flood swept through the clinic at 120 Lion Blvd. The floodwaters can be seen ripping a storage area from the left side of the building until it floated to rest on the right side of the complex. Cars in the parking lot, shared with the Springdale city offices, can be seen pushed away from their parking spaces by the force of the water.
According to a statement provided by GoFundMe from Helen McMahan, who operates the clinic with her husband Mike, both of the clinic’s full-time medical assistants had their vehicles deemed total losses after being saturated by the floodwaters and pelted by debris.
Inside the clinic itself, two inches of muddy water covered the floors, according to McMahan.
The McMahans said they don’t receive any kind of government funding to run the clinic and are now facing $50,000 in repairs.
“For the first time in our history, we are reaching out to our community of supporters for financial donations to cover unexpected costs related to the recent disaster,” Helen McMahan said. “We are passionate about our services and recognize that our clinic is an integral part of the Zion Canyon community of visitors and residents.”
The community is already coming out to help.
By Friday evening, the GoFundMe page had raised around $7,800. And the Zion Canyon Lions Club announced that the funds raised from its 63rd Annual Independence Day Breakfast held Saturday morning at Springdale Elementary will now go to the clinic.
The rural clinic was started in 1984 by Mike McMahan, a physician’s assistant, and Helen, a family nurse practitioner.
The McMahons said they volunteer their time and after staff salaries, medical equipment and maintenance expenses, their profits are marginal — necessitating the need to raise funds to repair the damage and reopen.
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