Tag Archives: Zion flooding

Flooding Fears Easing in Zion This Morning

At 6:40 this morning, I was awakened by the sounds of the garbage truck reverberating through my neighborhood. This is not normally a significant event, but on this particular morning, it suggests State Route 9 is open from St. George to Springdale. I peer out the window. Though it is not yet light, I can see raindrops are hitting the puddles of standing water. Low hanging clouds obscure our view of the West Temple to the west, and the Watchman to the east. It doesn’t seem to be raining hard, but that has been typical for this entire flooding experience over the last 5 days. I walked over to my computer to check the river flow, and was relieved to see the volume at 892 cfs. There was some meteorological expectation yesterday that we would see 4000 cfs again today, which seems more difficult to imagine now, with the river below 1000. Today’s forecast is for a 60% chance of rain. This suggests it might rain 100% of the time for 60% of the day, based on how things have been going. Friday’s forecast is sunny and 54. My thanks go to Qwest Communications Company for keeping the internet up … Continue reading

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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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Virgin River Flooding, Zion Closed, Rockville and Virgin Evacuated

After 4 straight days of heavy rain, the Virgin River is rising to impressive and dangerous levels in Zion. While the river’s typical volume this time of year is under 100 cubic feet/second, the river almost reached 6000 cfs this afternoon… and the forecast for rain continues through tomorrow. Things are pretty scary here, as Mother Nature lets it all loose. The Park Service has closed and evacuated the Zion National Park, partially triggered by erosional failure of part of the Zion Scenic Drive road. This morning, Rockville mayor Alan Brown declared a State of Emergency and many Rockville residents began evacuating their homes, fearful the raging Virgin River will breach the Trees Ranch dam and rise over the flood bank and into town. As of an hour ago, the dam is reported to have a partial breach, though evidently it is still holding. Perhaps a slow breach is better than a fast one? I’m unsure how breaches work, but in any case it sounds like bad news. Below is the view from Zion Canyon Sanctuary, where Mayor Brown lives, earlier this morning… If you are coming to Zion for any reason, please keep yourself informed of the latest news … Continue reading

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