Flash flood watch, weather for Southern Utah

Deer watches normally dry Fort Pearce Wash turn into a rushing river, flash flooding in St. George, Utah, Aug. 18, 2014 | Photo by Jared Abel, courtesy of Lisa Abel, St. George News
Dots denote areas subject to the "Flash Flood Watch" at 6:20 a.m., Southern Utah, Aug. 19, 2014 | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News
Dots denote areas subject to the “Flash Flood Watch” at 6:20 a.m., Southern Utah, Aug. 19, 2014 | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH — The National Weather Service has issued a “Flash Flood Watch” in effect for much of central and southern Utah, including Washington, Iron, Kane, Garfield and Beaver counties, in effect all day Tuesday and through the evening.


Showers and thunderstorms capable of producing heavy rainfall and flash flooding are expected across the watch area through Tuesday evening as a very moist airmass interacts with a low pressure system over the region.

Affected areas

Wasatch Plateau / Book Cliffs, Castle Country, San Rafael Swell, Sanpete/Sevier valleys, Southwest Utah, Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park, south-central Utah, Glen Canyon Recreation Area / Lake Powell, central mountains, southern mountains, including the cities of Scofield, Price, Castle Dale, Emery, Green River, Hanksville, Manti, Richfield, Beaver, Cedar City, Milford, St. George, Kanab, Escalante, Bullfrog, Cove Fort, Koosharem, Fish Lake, Loa, Panguitch and Bryce Canyon.

Most threatened

The flash flood threat will be greatest across slot canyons, slick rock areas, normally dry washes, small streams in steep terrain and near recent burn scars. In addition, urban areas with poor drainage will be at risk of flooding.

See here flooding in areas of Washington City Monday afternoon: News LIVE: Storm hits Washington, homes flooded; STGnews Photo Gallery

See video of normally dry Fort Pearce Wash Monday evening in St. George: Storm swells Virgin River, flash flood through Fort Pearce Wash at Fort Pierce Bridge; STGnews Aerial Videocast

Precautionary, preparedness actions

A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. Readers are advised to monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

Turn around. Don’t drown.

Rescue commander tells how to survive a flash flood

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Weather Service offer safety rules for flash flooding:

  • Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation
  • Flash flood waves, moving at incredible speeds, can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Killing walls of water can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet. You will not always have warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. When a flash flood warning is issued for your area or the moment you first realize that a flash flood is imminent, act quickly to save yourself. You may have only seconds.
  • Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. The road bed may not be intact under the water. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. If the vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants and sweep them away
  • Do not hike rivers and especially slot canyons while flash flood warnings are in place
  • Do not hike alone and always tell someone where you and your buddy and others are going
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canyons, and washes
  • Avoid already flooded and high velocity flow areas. Do not try to cross a flowing stream on foot where water is above your knees
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions

During any flood emergency, stay tuned to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio, or television, follow St. George News at STGnews.com and St. George News Facebook for weather alerts and updates relevant to Southern Utah. Information from the national weather service and disaster and emergency services may save your life.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • WOW REALLY August 19, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Thank you for the weather updates and warnings. I am sorry to say that certain people are stupid or stubborn. Please add DO NOT STAND ON BRIDGES OVER WATER DURING A FLOOD. I hope a stupid person reads this and realizes that they are WRONG and I can say I saved a dumb persons life today……

  • Incognegro (Josh Dalton) August 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

    The lighting was awesome this morning! Reminded me of back home in Atlanta,Ga. The only thing missing was tornado sirens!

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