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Parks in the American West were flooded

Parks in the American West were flooded

Flash floods hit part of Utah’s Zion National Park, washing away tourists, on August 19, 2022. AFP/File

Flooding drove away tourists and prompted evacuations marked by a weekend of downpours in the western United States, the latest weather disaster to ravage the region and its famed natural parks.

A woman went missing on Monday after being swept away by rapids Friday in Utah’s Zion National Park, famous for its cliffs and canyons.

The flash flood also injured another tourist, who was swept hundreds of meters by the current before being rescued, the National Park Service, NPS, said.

At least 200 visitors have been evacuated from caves in New Mexico’s Carlsbad National Park after being trapped for hours.

The floods occurred following heavy rains in the southwestern part of the country, which has been suffering from continuous drought for more than 20 years.

Chris Rasmussen of the United States Weather Service (NWS) explained to AFP last week that “if water falls for a short period of time, it will not relieve the drought in the end, rather than being ‘actually absorbed’.”

According to the NWS, parts of northern Texas and Mississippi could get up to 180 millimeters of rain this week.

“Much of this rain will be beneficial and welcome due to the effects of the current drought, but there is still a chance of flooding in urban areas and poor drainage systems,” the service warned.

On Monday, a flash flood warning was issued for the North Texas suburbs of Dallas.

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Human activity, particularly the use of fossil fuels, has caused global warming, which helps increase weather events that are increasingly frequent and violent.