Rising Water, Flood Potential, Lead to Closure of Zion National Park

Zion National Park was closed shortly before noon Tuesday as rising flows in the Virgin River posed a threat to the park's infrastructure in Zion Canyon. Both the Zion Lodge and the Watchman Campground were being evacuated, park officials said.

The park will be closed until the river level begins to drop and damage can be assessed, they added.

The river level early Tuesday morning was 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). The level was predicted to reach 8,000 cfs later in the day. The normal flow at this time of the year is 40-50 cfs. The highest level ever recorded in the canyon was 9,150 cfs in 1966.

On Monday the park's east entrance was shut down as heavy rains washed out a section of the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway.