Flash Floods at Zion National Park Shut Down the Park

Flood waters and mud close south and east entrances to the park

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Zion National Park was forced to close after heavy rains caused flash floods Tuesday, June 29th. Floodwaters and mud forced the closure of the south and east entrances to the park, and State Route 9 was closed as heavy flooding left more than a foot of mud down Zion Park Boulevard. Visitors were told to anticipate delays on Wednesday as the park reopened and cleaning continued.

The National Parks Service issued updates Tuesday and Wednesday: “Visitors should expect traffic delays, debris on roads, and potential closures of trails and parking areas as clean-up continues and damage is being assessed.”

Springdale Police Officer Britt Ballard, who grew up in Springdale, described the seriousness of the flood: “I’ve lived or worked here for 36 years. I grew up here and this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Ballard said. “This is a major, major incident disaster-wise. I mean, we get a little bit of flooding and a bit of mud on the road. But not like this.”

Flash floods, often caused by storms miles away, are a very real danger and can be life-threatening. Know the weather and flash flood potential ratings before starting your trip, the National Parks Service recommends. If bad weather threatens, do not enter a narrow canyon. Three critical steps to flash flood safety are: get to higher ground, do not drive in water, and stay informed.

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