WEATHER

Biker caught in Hanksville flooding: “You had 45 seconds to move fast”

Sep 2, 2021, 12:53 PM

hanksville flooding...

Zac Bookman, CEO of OpenGov, says he had about 45 seconds to get out of the way before floodwaters swamped the town of Hanksville, near Capitol Reef National Park. Photo: Wayne County Sheriff's Office

HANKSVILLE, Utah — A man who was biking across the country is telling his scary story of being stuck right in the middle of flash flooding in Hanksville.

OpenGov CEO Zac Bookman left Redwood City, Calif. in late August. He hoped to bike more than 4,000+ miles across the country. The plan: to support and thank local government leaders and raise funds for the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy.

Wednesday afternoon, he found himself biking through Capitol Reef National Park, when it started to rain.  

Hanksville flooding: From a creek to a river in seconds

Bookman and his group arrived in Hanksville to find a place to stay, when the flash flooding roared through the streets.

“We get in the room, and it went from a little creek to a river,” he said. “We grabbed our stuff, and you had about 45 seconds to really move fast.”

Bookman says he grabbed the bikes, and his dad tried to move the car out of the way.

“He got the car to within 15 yards of safety, and a wall of water hit it, and the car shut off — he had to open the door and run out,” Bookman said. “I’m wading across with the bikes, and other people are behind us whose cars got trapped. Our car floated about 100 yards.”

Superman Dan to the rescue

Bookman says everyone in town is helping each other today in every way possible.

“We got the car towed out by a guy the locals know as ‘Superman Dan,’” Bookman said. “He’s got a 40 inch lift on his truck. The kindness of the locals has been unbelievable. The folks across the street have cabins, and they put us and other people from the motel in there, no questions asked.”

Bookman says he won’t give up on the cross-country bike ride just yet. But he does plan to regroup before proceeding. 

“We are safe, and folks are safe, and it’s the human life that matters. But it’s a really sad situation. There are other communities that have been devastated down here, there are a lot of homes and mobile homes that people are trying to dig out. It’s a really tough morning here for a lot of people.”

Thursday, the Hanksville mayor and his family started a GoFundMe* to help residents hit hard by the flooding. You can find more information here

*KSL NewsRadio does not assure that the money deposited to the account directly benefits the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Weather

Fallen tree branches caused by strong winds in Orem are pictured on Monday. A cold front is causing...

Carter Williams, KSL.COM

Rare June freeze warning issued for parts of Utah; wind tied to some of 6,500 outages

Summer might start this week, but a low-pressure system arriving in Utah is forecast to make some parts of the state feel quite wintry.

15 hours ago

High wind speeds in Utah County caused property damage on Monday, June 17, 2024....

Emma Keddington

Portions of Utah placed on high wind alert

The Salt Lake National Weather Service warned Utahns of high wind levels Monday evening, primarily affecting those in Utah Valley.

1 day ago

Temperatures in Salt Lake City are only expected to reach 77 degrees on Monday. However, winds and ...

Adam Small

Temperatures expected to cool down, while winds and wildfire danger rise

Temperatures in Salt Lake City are only expected to reach 77 degrees on Monday. However, winds and wildfire danger are on the rise.

2 days ago

The Foundation’s 38-foot RV, customized with two private exam rooms, will travel around the count...

CARLYSLE PRICE, KSL TV

Free skin cancer screening program visits Park City

Local dermatologists will provide free full-body skin cancer screenings in Park City in an RV meant just to check patients.

3 days ago

two people sit in the summer heat...

Adam Small

Salt Lake registers hottest daily overnight low temperature Friday

Salt Lake City registered its hottest overnight low temperature ever recorded on Friday, June 14.

5 days ago

Salt lake city hit a record number of 100 degree days and the state is close to the all-time highes...

Simone Seikaly

Salt Lake City hit 100 degrees Thursday, first time in 2024

Portions of southern Utah were under a Red Flag Warning through 9 p.m. Thursday night.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Biker caught in Hanksville flooding: “You had 45 seconds to move fast”