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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Zion Park Closed By Flooding; Storm Causes Evacuations

Here's an update from this Salt Lake Tribune Article. Below are Excerpts.

The town Rockville was told to evacuate Tuesday afternoon because of fears the Trees Ranch Dam could fail, sending a deluge downstream toward it.

"The imminent failure of the Trees Ranch Dam on the East fork of the Virgin River in Washington County was reported by Washington County Sheriff’s Department," the weather service said.

As of noon, homes south of State Road 9 in the town of Rockville were being evacuated. Residents were told to head down river and gather at the Hurricane City Community Center at 50 S. 100 West. Trees Ranch in Virgin also was being evacuated, and the Valley View bridge on Valley View Drive was closed.

Floodwaters already had washed out a bridge on Gunlock Road, Washington County sheriff’s dispatchers confirmed — and in the southwestern Utah town of Enterprise, portions of Highway 18 were covered with water. Flooding along SR-9 also forced closure of Zions National Park along with evacuation of the Zion Lodge and Watchman Campground in Zion Canyon.

The tiny town of Gunlock is nearly isolated as the approach road is washed out leading to bridges north and south of town.

"There is significant erosion of the road at both ends of town," he said.

Mortensen said the only way into Gunlock is on the Sand Cove Road that is dirt and requires a four-wheel drive vehicle.

"We’re asking that people stay off all dirt roads," he said.

Travel problems are reported throughout Utah, as a major storm continues to dump rain and snow on our state. This KSL TV article provides details. Below are excerpts.

The mayors of St. George and Rockville, near Zion National Park, have declared their cities to be under states of emergency Tuesday morning.

A number of streets and bridges are closed, as well as Zion National Park. Zion Lodge was being evacuated Tuesday morning.

A flood warning remains in effect for southern Utah as heavy rain continues to pound the region.

The Washington County Sheriffs Office confirms it is heading to a possible bridge collapse in Gunlock due to flooding.

Iron County dispatch has confirmed at least one bridge has been breached near Enterprise and others have water near the road level.

There are also reports that the town of Beaver Dam (Arizona), north of Mesquite has been evacuated due to the flooding.

Here are links to help travelers:
- Utah regional weather forecasts
- Utah road conditions
- Utah Avalanche Center

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