LOCAL NEWS

Flash Floods, Mudslides Close US-89 In Utah County

Jul 26, 2019, 6:15 PM | Updated: 10:57 pm

BIRDSEYE, Utah – Friday evening commutes on U.S. 89 in Utah County turned into a nightmare as cars had to outrace flash floods of muddy water and boulders.

“I made it to about Thistle and it just started pouring,” said Spanish Fork resident Tyson Jones.

Jones was taking his two young sons camping when mud and debris started pouring over Highway 89.

“It was just a river going across the road,” he said. “There was water up past my running boards of my truck. I was just praying that it didn’t get any worse.”

With camper in tow, Jones successfully drove his truck to safety. He hit a large rock along the way that caused significant damage. His truck and trailer had to be towed from the area.

“I’ve drove this road many a times,” Jones said. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.”

The Utah Highway Patrol reports that three separate slides covered the highway between Thistle and Birdseye.

“We’ve accounted for everyone and every vehicle through here,” said Sgt. Nick Street. “We used our Department of Public Safety helicopter to help accomplish that.”

Sgt. Street said about 30 cars were trapped—either in the mud or between the debris fields. There were no reports of injuries.

 

“Everybody’s okay, despite the rising waters and large debris flows,” Street said.

 

Police said a significant amount of mud and debris flow covered US-89 from mile markers 305-307.

 

The Flash Flood Warning was for the back side of the Pole Creek burn scar, according to the National Weather Service Salt Lake City.

Photo Courtesy of Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office

The warning also extended to Thistle until 7:15 p.m.

“The heavy rains we’ve had today caused debris flows this afternoon across roads in the area of Promised Land Resort at the Pinnacles (formerly Camelot Resort). Deputies and county road crews are working to help at least a dozen people make their way out of the area,” Duchesne County Sherrif’s Office said in a Facebook post. “This area was heavily impacted by last year’s Dollar Ridge Fire, as well as subsequent flash flooding and debris flows. With additional rain in the forecast, we are asking people to avoid the area for their safety and for the safety of those who will be called upon to rescue them if they become trapped.”

UDOT crews will be working overnight clearing debris.

 

 

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Flash Floods, Mudslides Close US-89 In Utah County