3 dead, 4 missing in Zion National Park after flash flooding

Community members look along a stream after a flash flood Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in Colorado City, Ariz. The floods came after heavy rains fell in the canyons just north of the sister towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, sending waves of water barreling through the streets. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Community members look along a stream after a flash flood Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in Colorado City, Ariz. The floods came after heavy rains fell in the canyons just north of the sister towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, sending waves of water barreling through the streets. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Heavy rain sent flash floods coursing through a narrow slot canyon in southern Utah’s Zion National Park, killing three people and leaving four others missing, officials said Tuesday.

Three bodies were found a day after the group of four men and three women set out Monday to rappel down the canyon, park spokeswoman Holly Baker said. They went canyoneering before park officials closed slot canyons that evening due to flood warnings.

The deaths come after 12 people died when fast-moving floodwaters on Monday swept away two vehicles on the Utah-Arizona border, about 20 miles south of the park. One person remains missing from the small polygamous town.

In Zion, rescuers were waiting for water levels to drop before entering the canyon to search for the missing.

The group hailed from California and Nevada and were all in their 40s and 50s, Baker said. She didn’t have further details on their identities.

The group was in Keyhole Canyon, which narrows to 6 feet across in parts. Baker said the canyon received 0.63 inch of rain in one hour Monday.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings through 7:45 p.m. Tuesday for Zion National Park, as the saturated area could be hit again with light to moderate rainfall.

The warning said rivers and streams at the popular park and in neighboring Springdale and Rockville are already elevated and additional rain will swell the waterways to dangerous levels.

Zion is the most-visited of Utah’s five national parks and attracts nearly 3 million visitors a year.

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s