ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issue a flash flood warning for east-central Washington County and west-central Kane County.
The warning, which is in effect until 4 p.m., is specific to Springdale and Zion National Park, but the weather service stated that flooding is either occurring or imminent across the park, specifically the Zion Canyon area.
A flash flood warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property.
In hilly terrain there are hundreds of washes and low-water crossings that are potentially dangerous in heavy rain. Do not attempt to cross flooded roads. Find an alternate route.
Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. The public should monitor the latest forecasts and be prepared to take action.
Turn around. Don’t drown.
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 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 official weather reports via radio, television and social media. Cell phone users can also sign up to receive weather alerts as text messages. You can also follow St. George News and Cedar City News for weather alerts and updates relevant to Southern Utah.
For the most current conditions, warnings and advisories, go to the National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office website.
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