National

Death toll from flash flooding in southern Utah rises to 19

Search and rescue volunteers walk in Short Creek while looking for a missing person in Colorado City, Ariz., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Floodwaters swept away multiple vehicles in the Utah-Arizona border town, killing several people. (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP)  MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

Search and rescue volunteers walk in Short Creek while looking for a missing person in Colorado City, Ariz., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Floodwaters swept away multiple vehicles in the Utah-Arizona border town, killing several people. (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP) MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

HILDALE, Utah (AP) — The latest on the deadly flash flooding to hit the Utah-Arizona border region (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Authorities say searchers have found the last body of seven hikers killed in flash flooding that swept through a narrow canyon at Utah’s Zion National Park.

Washington County sheriff’s Detective Nate Abbott confirmed the death Thursday as crews dropped into Keyhole Canyon. The bodies of three men and one woman were found Tuesday, September 15, and two other bodies were found Wednesday.

The group of seven people in their 40s and 50s from California and Nevada set out Monday, before park officials closed canyons due to flooding.

Park rangers say the group was told about the danger of flash flooding before they entered the canyon, but there was no way to warn them once the fast-moving waters began to rise.

Rangers say they don’t judge visitors’ technical ability and let them decide whether to go.

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10:58 a.m.

Authorities say rescuers are dropping down a narrow canyon in Utah’s Zion National Park to search for the last person missing after raging floodwaters trapped a group of seven hikers.

Six people have been found dead downstream after Monday’s flash flooding, but the danger of more rising water kept rescuers out of the canyon itself until Thursday.

Park spokesman Dave Eaker says authorities are investigating and reviewing policies in the wake of the deaths, but the process to get permits to enter Keyhole Canyon is created at the national level.

Officials say the group that departed Monday was warned that flash flooding was likely. Rangers frequently issue such cautions during the rainy season, but don’t judge visitors’ technical abilities or bar people from entering the canyons.

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10:31 a.m.

Authorities have warned residents in a small polygamous town on the Utah-Arizona border to boil their drinking water following deadly flash flooding.

The local water department issued the advisory as a precaution Wednesday after floods tore through the sister cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, sweeping away two vehicles Monday and killing at least 12 people. One boy is still missing.

Washington County Emergency Services in Utah said no contamination has been found, pending water sample testing, but that boiling water for one minute would guarantee it’s safe to drink.

The county said repairs are being made to a spring damaged by the storm.

Flash flooding also hit Zion National Park on Monday, killing six hikers in a narrow canyon. Searchers are still looking for one missing person.

 

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