Flooding Fears Easing in Zion This Morning

Low Clouds Hang Over Sand Bench Trail in Zion

Low clouds hang over the Sand Bench Trail in Zion

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 and running during this whole ordeal, as it has been a valuable resource, a tool for folks to connect with, and of course, a great provision of entertainment.

According to KSL news last night, the five-day storm totals are approximately (approximate because they went by too fast for me to write down):

Lava Point 10.5″ water
Kolob: 11.1″ water
Zion Canyon Visitor Center: 7.05″ water

My memory recalls a water year at Lava Point is around 24″, and 14″ for Springdale, which would mean we just received the equivalent of HALF an average year’s rainfall this week.

For now, I am cautiously optimistic about the weather the next two days. If things go well, Zion National Park may re-open the main canyon scenic drive today.


About Dave

Dave Buckingham guides, outfits, and waxes poetic on all things canyoneering at Zion Adventure Company. When Dave isn’t exploring desert canyons or waterskiing on Lake Powell, you might find him fixing his boat, walking his dog, or tooting his own horn (it’s a trumpet) here in Springdale.
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