We’re bracing for even more rain in Zion Canyon. Already the Virgin River is raging through the canyon. The power of this river is why Zion Canyon exists. Here’s a shot of Weeping Rock, which is normally a gentle “weeping” water fall. This morning it sounds like ocean waves crashing on the rocks. Today’s Weather Service Flood Warning:
NORTH FORK VIRGIN RIVER TYPICALLY FLOWS AROUND 40 CUBIC FEET PER SECOND (CFS). AS OF MIDNIGHT MONDAY NIGHT...THE NORTH FORK IS FLOWING AROUND 4600 CFS...AND IS FORECAST TO REACH 7000 CFS WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS. THE SECOND PEAK EXPECTED TUESDAY AFTERNOON IS EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER...WITH PEAK FLOWS OF 8000 CFS. THE THIRD AND FINAL PEAK ON WEDNESDAY HAS THE RIVER FORECASTED TO RISE AGAIN TO NEAR 6000 CFS.
We’ve emptied the campground and evacuated all the visitors in Zion. Everyone but residents are being asked to leave the area until further notice. I inspected it early this morning and wouldn’t be surprised if the river breaches the dikes bordering the campsites. There’s a dam downstream which could fail anytime. With Highway 9 cut off due road failure on the east side and the potential of a dam breach destroying the road west of the park, all the residents and park employees are just waiting to see what happens next. Most of the park employees have been sent home for the next two days.