Flash flood warning for areas around Capitol Reef, parts of Wayne County

A life-threatening flash flood warning has been issued for southern and western central Wayne County and northeastern Grand County in central Utah and south-central Uintah County in northeastern Utah.

Alerts for Grand and Uintah districts will last until 5:45 p.m. after 1 to 5 inches of rain has fallen, with an additional 0.5 inches possible in the area. “Floods are underway or expected to begin shortly,” the official warning said. Floodplains in the Grand and Uintah counties include those north of Interstate 70 in the Grand Flat desert.

“Stay alert to flooding in places where it doesn’t rain,” said the National Weather Service. “Arroyos, creeks, and rivers can turn into raging, deadly currents in minutes, even in distant rains.”

In southern Utah, the radar detected thunderstorms causing heavy rain in the warned area.

Salt Lake City’s National Weather Service issued the alert until 5:15 p.m. in west central Wayne County and 6:00 p.m. in south central Wayne County.

Areas where life-threatening flash floods from streams and creeks, urban areas, highways, roads, and underpasses occur include Capitol Reef National Park, Fruita, and Caineville.

Flash floods are specifically expected at Sulfur Creek within Capitol Reef in the Freemont River.

NWS said between half an inch and 1.25 inch of rain have fallen in the areas. Flash floods are said to continue or begin shortly in the upper reaches of Sand Creek Wash to the confluence of Sulfur Creek and through the city of Torrey.

“Currents are also expected from Sunglow Canyon near the town of Bicknell,” said NWS.

Motorists are advised to “turn around, don’t drown” when the road is flooded.

“Most flood deaths occur in vehicles,” said NWS.

Flash floods were fatal in Utah last month, killing people in national parks and cities, and causing damage in southern Utah.

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