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Horrific Flash Flooding In Zion National Park Kills 3, 4 Still Missing

Zion National Park

The bodies of three people were found at Zion National Park after being caught in a terrible flash flood Monday evening.  Four people are still missing.

From FOX News:

Seven individuals were canyoneering in Keyhole Canyon when .63 inches of rain fell between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., said Aly Baltrus, spokeswoman at the park. Keyhole Canyon is a short, narrow slot canyon located on the east side of the park.

Rangers received a report of the group canyoneering in the canyon shortly before the flooding began. It was determined the group had not come out of the canyon when crews found their unoccupied cars at the trailhead Monday evening, according to park officials.  A search began for the party Tuesday morning.

“As search continues for the missing hikers, high water levels and continued rain showers pose further flash flooding concerns and have hampered searchers’ access to the technical portions of the canyoneering route,” officials say.

Search and rescue crews are waiting for weather to clear before entering the canyon.

There were four men and three women canyoneering. Baltrus said those in the party were between 40 and 50 in age and were from the California and Nevada areas. Names of the victims will not be released until next of kin has been notified.

A permit is required to enter Keyhole Canyon. Park officials say hikers must complete several short rappels under 30 feet and swim through several pools of water to get through it.

This is the second deadly flooding in southern Utah. Twelve bodies and one person is missing after a family was swept away in flash flooding in Hildale Monday evening. Three people were rescued.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flooding warning For southeastern Washington County along with southwestern Kane County. The warning will remain effect until 7:15 p.m.

“The Hildale drainage is currently saturated and additional rainfall is expected,” according to NWS.

The warning is warranted due to the combination to light to moderate rainfall and the fact there is a search and rescue operation ongoing in the drainage.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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