Photographer captures video of flash flood over Paria wilderness

Posted at 9:38 PM, Aug 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-31 23:38:10-04

SOUTHERN UTAH - Heavy thunderstorms over the weekend triggered flash floods over the Paria wilderness near the Arizona border. A local photographer caught it on camera.

David Rankin is known for chasing storms and floods. Sunday afternoon he used a drone and hand camera to film a flash flood near Marble Canyon. The national weather service said between two and three inches of rain fell in just over an

“We get what we call a monsoon,” said NWS meteorologist Michael Seaman. “Which is basically a surge of moisture that comes up into the desert southwest from Mexico. What happened on Sunday was a typical monsoon day… “

Monsoon season in Southern Utah typically starts in late July and ends in September. The Bureau of Land Management warns visitors during that time about the potentially dangerous storms.

“The greatest concern for damage is loss of life,” said BLM Arizona Strip District public affairs officer Rachel Carnahan. “Those are unnecessary losses because there isn’t an area out there that is worth the loss of someone’s life.”

Most of the damage from flash floods doesn’t come the water, it comes from the debris pushed down the washes. Rankin’s video shows branches, stumps and logs floating filling up the wash area. Carnahan said one of the most important things to remember about floods is that the rain that is coming through the slot canyons fell close to 50 miles away. That makes flash floods unpredictable.

“That’s why we ask people to come into the visitors centers so they can get the latest updates and make that decision for themselves,” said Carnahan.

The NWS website posts flash flood warnings during slow moving storm events.

Watch Rankin’s full video: