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Contact: Aly Baltrus, 435-772-0160Springdale, Utah–Water levels on the Virgin River in Zion National Park rose from 174 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 4,790 cfs in a matter of hours today. This was the 7th highest river level in more than one hundred years. Flooding and debris on both the Scenic Drive and the Zion - Mount Carmel Highway forced the park to close at 1:00 P.M. Visitors up Zion Canyon, except those staying at the lodge, were evacuated.
As the water began to recede, park maintenance staff checked the roads and used heavy equipment to remove the mud and debris. A section of the Zion- Mount Carmel Highway was undercut by flood waters, but was quickly fixed. The main park road and the Scenic Drive reopened at 3:30 P.M. with limited shuttle service. Park staff will continue to check on Zion's popular trails as well as the Kolob Terrace Road accesses.