Flash Floods and Red Waterfalls Create an Otherworldly Scene in Moab

Written by Kirstin Opal
Published: September 20, 2022
© T.Schofield/Shutterstock.com
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In August 2022, residents and visitors of Moab, Utah witnessed something out of an apocalyptic movie. America’s crown jewels, the national parks, are places of awe and wonder. The internationally famous national parks at Moab, Arches, and Canyonlands draw tourists from all over the globe.

A state park, gorgeous rivers, woodlands, and vast tracts of Bureau of Acreage Management land surround the town of Moab. In the late summer of 2022, the area experienced an unusual amount of rain, leading to flash floods

The American Southwest has experienced an especially wet monsoon season this year. There have been some remarkable flash floods as a result.

Businesses and homeowners in Moab are putting the pieces back together after a “hundred-year flood” on August 20. Following the flood, Mill Creek in the area is once again calm, but a thick layer of muck and dust coats the streets of Moab.

That evening shortly after 7 p.m., about an inch and a half of rain fell for about 20 minutes. Social media videos show vehicles floating down the main street of the city. The water there was up to 3 feet deep, according to Lisa Church, a city representative.

Near Arches National Park, the flood created a reddish-brown waterfall that left visitors speechless. The water poured over the cliffs and cascaded down the rocky terrain. A video shows just how breathtaking the rushing water appeared. 

A Flood for the Ages

A comment from a Moab resident reads, “I’ve lived in Utah my entire life 67 years so far and never once had the opportunity to see the magic of waterfalls like this up close. It’s truly a beautiful sight. To me, it’s like the Garden of Eden.”

The same flash flood caused numerous visitors to be taken aback at Utah’s Zion National Park’s Narrows, a well-known slot canyon that runs between rocks that are 2,000 feet high. At least one hiker suffered injuries and was carried hundreds of yards downstream before park officials could save him and take him to a nearby hospital. Before being evacuated, some people were able to wait out the storm on high ground.

After the August flooding along Mill Creek, which drove water and debris down Main Street, Annie McVay, the director of Moab’s parks, recreation, and trails, said that municipal employees and volunteers had been working hard to ensure that people could return and enjoy the area. Take a look at the shocking video below that showcases just how strong a flash flood can be! 

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The Featured Image

Green,River,,Canyonlands,National,Park,,Moab,,Utah
Green River is a rather deep river
© T.Schofield/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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