It started as a hot and sunny day in the Zion National Park in Utah, as 40-year-old Jhonatan Gonzalez and a group of family members from Maui, Hawaii, were hiking down the river canyon known as The Narrows. Suddenly, Gonzalez heard what sounded like thunder, but it ended up being Flash Flood waters from heavy rainfall upstream. Together with strangers, they formed a Human Chain to help people across.

Flash flood pours down into Utah desert

It happened last Saturday when the calm water in the river in Zion National Park suddenly became a rushing, waist-high torrent. They were trapped by the canyon walls, with torrents of water pouring down into the river canyon.

Gonzalez and 15 members of his family – including children ranging in age from 1 to 8 – tried to turn back. However, they soon came to a part of the river where the water was even higher. He decided that if there was no way out of the flooded river, the only way out was to go through it.

Family and strangers form human chain to help people across the river

Initially Gonzalez and his brothers joined hands in the water to help the younger members of their family cross the river. As the river became choked with debris and logs, several strangers eventually joined the human chain, as dozens of hikers, trapped in the river, required help to cross the torrent.

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As reported by SFGate, Gonzalez said that while the experience was chilling and scary, it felt good and almost made him tear up to see everyone helping each other. In the midst of the excitement, Gonzalez managed to briefly pause to take a video of the incident on his cell phone, footage that's included in the video below.

As reported by USA Today, later that afternoon, and following a flash flood warning, Zion National Park closed the area. According to Ranger John Marciano, rangers do encourage people to keep an eye on the weather reports and to be especially careful in fast-moving water. Marciano said anybody caught up in risky weather should immediately head to higher ground, especially when down in the river canyon.

There was a devastating flash flood in Zion National Park back in 2015 which led to the deaths of seven hikers in a deep and narrow canyon.

In recent weeks, dozens of hikers in Arizona needed to be rescued from the flood waters. In mid-July, nine people were killed when a sudden rainstorm upstream sent flash floods into a swimming area northeast of Phoenix.

However, this isn’t the only time strangers have recently joined together in a human chain to help others. Back in July a group of 80 beach-goers formed a human chain to rescue a family caught in a riptide on Panama City Beach.