WAYNE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – As floods traveled through Capitol Reef National Park Thursday afternoon, prompting flash flood warnings and road closures, search and rescue teams worked tirelessly to rescue those who were stranded.
With an ‘excessive number of visitors’ in the park facing severe flooding, park rangers raced to rescue those who may not have made it back to their cars in time before the flooding.
As rangers performed rescue efforts, some of them ended up stranded along Grand Wash, a popular hike in the park. Those rangers were able to get to higher ground, a press release states.
Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue flew to the park, helping to get people out of the flood and to safety.
At the same time, SR 24 was closed due to debris. Officials say two more storm cells hit, causing more flooding.
Park rangers attempted to get to Capitol Gorge but were unable to because the road was washed out.
A Department of Safety (DPS) helicopter was able to make contact with people who were stranded there, bringing them out and into a parking area.
There were nearly 60 people in that parking lot who “almost had to spend the night,” officials say.
After park rangers were able to clear the roads, they found lodging and shuttled visitors out of the parking area to the surrounding motels.
The only injuries reported were minor cuts and lacerations.
Rangers say there are approximately 7-8 cars in the flood areas currently.
No other details have been released.