Visitors, rangers stranded as flash flooding hits Capitol Reef National Park

Photo: Wayne County Search and Rescue

CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK, Utah, June 23, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Wayne County Search and Rescue crews helped visitors and rangers get to safety during flash flooding Thursday at Capitol Reef National Park.

Active flooding was reported in Grand Wash at 12:18 p.m., according to a news release from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. Some of the park rangers helping visitors get out of the wash ended up stranded during the flooding, the release states.

“Park rangers were unsure if people (who) were visiting the park had made it back to their vehicles and out of the flash flooding,” according to the news release.

Roughly 60 people were stranded at a parking lot during the flash flooding, some of whom were hoisted there by a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, search and rescue officials said. A jet fuel trailer arrived from Hanksville to assist DPS with refueling, the release states.

Park rangers were able to find lodging and are shuttling people out of the parking area to the surrounding motels,” the news release states. “The only injuries reported were minor cuts and lacerations.”

Wayne County officials say there are seven or eight disabled vehicles in the flood areas. Crews will work to get them out as weather conditions permit, the release states.

State Route 25 was closed while Utah Department of Transportation crews cleared debris from the highway.


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