Millard County Flash Flood Forces I-15, HWY 50 Closures

Aug 21, 2018, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:22 pm

HOLDEN, Utah – In an area of Utah where rain has become very rare, a heavy downpour brought a flash flooding and caused traffic delays on Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 50 in Millard County.

“There was a lot of water, I don’t know how much rain we got,” said Lt. Scott Robertson, with the Utah Highway Patrol.

The water and debris was so bad that the Utah Highway Patrol had to close the freeway in both directions for a time. Northbound lanes were closed for more than an hour.

The flash flooding can be a problem for areas torched by wildfires, where the lack of vegetation can keep rain from seeping into the soil.

While there was not a nearby burn scar from recent fires, the heavy rainfall in a short amount of time and drought conditions in the area caused the water to runoff very quickly.

UHP dashcam video showed water, mud and debris flowing down the side of the interstate shoulder and onto the pavement.

Officials said the good news was that despite the flash flood, no motorists were injured and there were no crashes.

“When those things happen they happen very quickly and you don’t have a lot of warning, so I would like to give credit to the people who were driving through there at that time who were alert and attentive, and we did not have any major incidents because of it,” Lt. Robertson said.

A few miles over the mountain to the east of the freeway, Highway 50 between Scipio and Salina had a similar flash flood that also forced the highway there to be closed for a time. The mud and debris covered several hundred feet of the highway.

Troopers said if you ever see water running across the road, don’t cross it. Stay back, because you never know how deep and powerful the water can be.

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Millard County Flash Flood Forces I-15, HWY 50 Closures