SOUTHERN Utah – Crews rescued 13 campers after a flash flood wiped out all of their tents, pushed their car down a river into some rocks, and left the group stranded.
Deputies from Washington County Sheriff’s Office were called around 1:40 a.m .Sunday to Crawdad Canyon to make a welfare check on a group camping in that area, which is near Veyo.
Darrell Cashin, a search and rescue liaison with Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said the campers ranged in age from 9 to 57. The campers had their back to a cliff, and a high angle rescue team helped extract them and then ferried them one-by-one across the Santa Clara River.
Cashin said the group lost nearly everything they had with them, and about half of them didn’t even make it out with their shoes. One vehicle was pushed an estimated 40 feet down the river onto the rocks, and two others sustained flood damage and were stuck in the area.
Cashin said the water in the Santa Clara River was about 4-feet deep when the group arrived but had risen to 7 or 8 feet by the time they were rescued.
The campers were part of an extended family from Las Vegas out on a camping trip.
Cashin said The American Red Cross helped find temporary shelter for the campers. He said he is grateful no one was swept down the river.