Cleanup efforts began Wednesday on the widespread damage at Zion National Park in Utah after flash floods.
Photographs from park officials showed roads flooded with mud and debris, with pieces of asphalt broken in some places and boulders lying in the roadway. Videos posted on social media by visitors showed water rapidly rushing through the park and roadways.
Park officials urged visitors to “exercise caution,” warningtravelers to stay away from the area if they didn’t need to get through.
“Visitors should expect traffic delays, debris on roads, and potential closures of trails and parking areas as clean-up continues and damage is being assessed,” park officials said in a statement.
The popular Watchman Trail near the south entrance to the park was closed due to trail damage, and the status of some of the park’s services and amenities was unclear.
Monsoon season is from mid-July to September when flash floods can occur without warning, park officials said, urging visitors to plan ahead and prepare for a “wide range of weather conditions.”
“Flash floods, often caused by storms miles away, are a very real danger and can be life-threatening,” officials said in a statement. “Three critical steps to flash flood safety are: get to higher ground, do not drive in water, and stay informed. When an area is flooded turn around, don’t drown.”
The park received more than an inch of rain over the course of an hour Tuesday, officials said, with a search and rescue team called in to help close State Route 9, the roadway that passes through the main section of the park, and to respond to emergency calls.
The National Weather Service warned of flash flooding: “Remember, slot canyons, slick rock areas and normally dry washes are the worst place to be during thunderstorms,” the agency reported in a tweet.
Take a look at images showing the damage after the flooding: