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Hiker injured in Zion canyon during flood warning

Published September 14, 2013 10:16 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An injured hiker was reported stranded in The Subway in Zion National Park on Saturday night as rains posed a risk of flash flooding in the slot canyon.

Another hiker called 911 after exiting The Subway canyon hike on Saturday evening to report the hiker had suffered a lower leg injury, said Ranger Tim Hearns. Rescuers did not yet know the nature or severity of the injury, or whether the hiker was mobile, Hearns said. It also wasn't clear which part of The Subway the hiker was in. Some parts of the hike allow access to higher ground; other parts pass through deep slot canyons that can expose hikers to flash flooding.

"During a flash flood, the water level rises quickly, within minutes or even seconds," according to a safety notice about hiking The Subway on Zion National Park's website. "A flash flood can rush down a canyon in a wall of water 12 feet high or more."

As of 9:30 p.m., rescuers were poised at the trailheads as weather forecasts and conditions were being evaluated to determine how risky a rescue may be, Hearns said.

"It's a search and rescue, it's at night, and there's weather," Hearns said. "But we're taking appropriate risk management."

The Tribune will report further details as they become available.