UPDATED: Ash-filled water from flash flooding flows from Brian Head burn scar

Flash flooding is expected in parts of Southern Utah Sunday – Bookmark this page for continuous updates

  • Update 6:28 p.m. Flash flood warning for east central Iron County no longer in effect.
  • Update 6 p.m. Additional witness observations added.
  • Update 5:29 p.m. Video of flood waters added.
  • Update 5:11 p.m. Witness account and photo of flooding near Parowan added.

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a flash flood warning Sunday affecting areas near the Brian Head burn scar.

Flash flood waters from the Brian Head burn scar rush down a drainage in Parowan, Utah, Aug. 6, 2017 | Photo courtesy Corey McNeil, Cedar City News / St. George News

At 3:22 p.m. MDT, Doppler radar indicated a thunderstorm producing  heavy rain over the western Brian Head burn scar, specifically the Parowan Creek drainage. Flash flooding has already caused the closure of SR-143 in this area.

“There is a lot of ash in the water obviously from the Brian Head fire,” witness Corey McNeil said, describing the flood waters in Parowan in a text message Sunday afternoon. “Usually the run off is red.”

Watch video top of this report.

“I haven’t seen any damage to homes or businesses,” McNeil said.

Sand bags are available at the Parowan fire station.

“At the peak I’d estimate the drainage to be 6-8 foot higher than normal,” McNeil said of the water level near the bridge over South Main Street in Parowan.

According to the National Weather Service, rainfall intensity has diminished sufficiently over the warned area to allow the warning to expire as of 6:15 p.m. Sunday.

Although some additional rainfall is possible this evening and some locally dry washes may still contain running water, flooding is no longer expected to pose a threat. Remaining road closures should continue to be observed.

Read more: This is how monsoons could menace communities around the Brian Head burn scar


Shaded areas denote region subject to flash flood warning in Iron County. Map generated 4:13 p.m. MDT, Aug. 6, 2017 | Image courtesy National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Excessive rainfall over the Brian Head burn scar will result in debris flow moving through the Parowan Creek drainage, including SR-143. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

Areas most prone to flash flooding include:

  • Slot canyons.
  • Burn scars.
  • Normally dry washes.
  • Urban areas with poor drainage.
  • Small streams in steep terrain.

Flash flood precautions

If a debris flow has occurred, it is important to realize that the runout area remains very dangerous. Additional debris flows may occur within minutes of the original flow. Please remain vigilant and be prepared to take swift action.

“Turn around, don’t drown” when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Remain alert for flooding even in locations not receiving rain. Dry washes, streams and rivers can become flooded with raging killer currents in a matter of minutes, even from distant rainfall.

People in the warning area are advised to move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • comments August 6, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Every flood and every fire is the fault of those evil, godless, tree-hugger environmentalist libruls! It must be librul witchcraft that has brought The LOrd’s fury upon this holy mormon land of zion!

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