Monsoon flooding sweeps away hiker at Zion, strands 150 tourists at Carlsbad Caverns

Canyon Overlook at Zion National Park on January 15, 2021 in Springdale, Utah. (Photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images)

Historic monsoon flooding is believed to have swept away a missing hiker in Zion National Park, while 150 people had to shelter-in-place at Carlsbad Caverns National Park due to flash flooding a day later.

According to FOX Weather, park rangers in the Utah national park responded Friday afternoon to reports of hikers being swept off their feet and needing rescue. After helping those hikers, more than 20 park rangers and members of the rescue team searched along the Virgin River for any additional hikers.

It wasn’t until later in the evening that park rangers learned about a missing hiker.

Authorities identified the missing woman as Jetal Agnihotri from Tucson, Arizona.

Parts of the park are closed because of flooding and search and rescue efforts.

A day later, about 150 visitors at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southern New Mexico had to shelter in place because of flash flooding, according to KOAT.  Some people in the park were able to evacuate, but one of the park’s roads became impassable, leaving tourists stranded for hours.


Carlsbad Caverns National Park - New Mexico. (Photo by: Edwin Remsberg/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Carlsbad Caverns will be closed Sunday as well.

Monsoon season

Monsoon season in the Southwest U.S. typically starts in mid-June and lasts through September. The powerful storms form on moist winds from Mexico, causing fierce rain, flash flooding, lightning and dust storms, FOX Weather reports.

This year’s monsoon season has been historic, with more than double the average number of flash flood warnings issued.

Flood Watches have been issued by the National Weather Service through Sunday for more than 8 million people because of the threat of additional heavy rains.