Flash flooding causes chaos to visitors at Zion National Park

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 4:18 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2021 at 4:26 PM EDT
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ZION NATIONAL PARK, Ut. (KSTU) - Zion National Park in Utah is open with modified operations after flash floods and mudslides wiped out roads.

Crews are now working to clean up the debris as more rain is expected.

Katie McCarthy and Mike Miller said they’re visiting from Massachusetts saying they heard about the flash flood warning but never imagined it would be like this.

Miller is camping at one of the campgrounds and said the water came in and completely washed things away including people’s tents and their belongings.

“There were tents everywhere, rug mats everywhere, RVs trying to get out as fast as they could. It was chaos, absolute chaos. And all the while boulders shooting right by me, boulders the size of my head,” said tourist Mike Miller.

“We kept hearing that it was probable but we kind of figured it was never going to happen, like they kind of have that warning a lot. But actually seeing it, I was just very shocked it was happening, said tourist Katie McCarthy.

Zion National Park had to close down because there was so much damage to the entrance area and they quickly had to get people out.

Meanwhile a company came in to try to dig some cars out at Cable Mountain Lodge saying that after the flash flood came in, one thing they noticed was everyone came together, even out of towners coming together to help.

“It was pretty chaotic. There was still people in disbelief that it kind of happened. There was a pretty good response from some of the contractors and people in the community that had really pulled together and came out with their equipment, with loaders and whatnot. The county was responding with dump trucks to kind of clear the main highway and cleanup the best they could on the public rideaways. And so it was pretty neat to see the response from individuals and even people that are on vacations that were grabbing shovels and just really putting their shoulder to the wheel, so that was a neat aspect of what we initially saw when we arrived on the scene. But, it’s a mess. And it’s going to be a mess for several days yet,” said Casey Lofthouse, owner of Casey’s Off Road Recovery.

In nearby Hildale, the mayor says there’s a lot of flooding and water is coming off the mountains, but that everyone is safe.

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