Tag Archives: Zion flood

Update on Flooding in Zion and Springdale

The sense of impending doom has eased quite a bit since yesterday morning, as river levels have come down quite a bit and the Trees Ranch Dam has evidently been holding strong. Folks have been bringing staged sandbags back to the supply station, and the atmosphere is definitely more relaxed. We are feeling pretty lucky to be near the top of the Virgin River watershed, as some folks downstream in Rockville, Virgin, St. George, Toquerville, Beaver Dam, Enterprise, etc. are having a much rougher go of it. After peaking around 5,300 cfs yesterday, the Springdale river gauge fell consistently overnight to under 1,000 at midday, today. It has been raining lightly today and the river is shooting back up at the moment, but the forecast is for a peak around 4,000 cfs, much better than yesterday’s 5,300 cfs. Zion National Park continues to be closed, though the Visitor’s Center was open this afternoon to provide information, answer visitor questions, etc. Expecting another river surge this afternoon, the Park expects will be closed at least through today, possibly into tomorrow. The Park hopes to open to road traffic tomorrow, but staff will need to survey road infrastructures to ensure everything is … Continue reading

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Filling Sandbags to Prepare for the Flooding Virgin

“Sand bagging” is a term climbers use when a given route’s difficulty rating belies the actual, more serious difficulty of the climb. While I have been on a few sand-bag routes before, my experience with real sand bags today was less figurative and much more literal. I laid in bed this morning, half-awake, before sunrise, noticing an above-average amount of vehicle sound and light activity behind my house. The service road there by the cemetery had become a staging area for flood preparation, and a few moments later I got a text message shedding more light on the situation. “Virgin River expected to exceed 8000 cfs (cubic feet per second). Filling sand bags at the cemetery. All kinds of help needed.” I fixed some food, donned raingear, and headed over. The rain was light , but steady. Ambient air temperature was in the mid 40s. Thankfully, it wasn’t windy. When my wife and I arrived, forty people were already filling sandbags. The sand had been sitting in the rain, making for lots of slop. Soon, all who were working were soaking wet and covered in the slop up to their ankles, and from fingertips to elbows. They didn’t seem to … Continue reading

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