Reporters: Do you want to accompany USGS crews as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista or Heidi Koontz. Photos of the crews are available online.
U.S. Geological Survey real-time monitoring captured flash flooding in southwest Utah that occurred as a result of intense thunderstorms with rainfall rates estimated as high as three inches per hour. Particularly hard hit was the town of Hildale, Utah and Zion National Park. The flash flood has resulted in 16 deaths.
Two USGS field crews are making streamflow measurements at gages in the area and are determining how high and how fast the water moved during the flash flood event.
“Events like this are not uncommon in southwestern Utah,” said Cory Angeroth, hydrologist with the USGS. “Our crews are providing real-time streamflow information to emergency managers and National Weather Service (NWS) flood forecasters so that they can make informed flood management decisions as thunderstorms continue to move through the area.”
USGS scientists collect critical streamflow data that are vital for protection of life, property and the environment. These data are used by the NWS to develop flood forecasts; the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control; and local and state emergency management in their flood response activities. More information is available on the USGS Utah Water Science Center website.
There are 154 USGS-operated streamgages in Utah that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. Current streamflow conditions are available online.
More detailed information on flooding in Utah is available on the WaterWatch flood page.
For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities.
Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert.