Hundreds Help In Cleanup Efforts In Cedar City
CEDAR CITY, Utah — Cedar City and Iron County each declared states of emergency after rain pounded the area Monday, flooding homes and businesses and prompting a flood of support from the surrounding community.
By Tuesday, the waters had receded in most areas, but the mess remained.
Hundreds of volunteers — including football players and other student athletes from Southern Utah University — converged on one neighborhood, helping homeowners remove, repair and clean damaged and dirty furniture and belongings.
“We were here last night and it was just a disaster here,” said Ben Lamoreaux, who said he received a call from his church leader Monday, asking him to mobilize volunteers to help in the cleanup efforts.
Lamoreaux said it only took a few messages and there were plenty of boots on the ground.
“I’m just so grateful for all the volunteers that helped and everybody that pitched in and is still pitching in right behind us. They went above and beyond the call. They’re cleaning people’s frontyards and about to do a backyard over here,” he said.
Tuesday morning, Mayor Maile Edwards said, “Our systems were overwhelmed with the amount of rain in such a short period of time, and that is part of what has led to this extensive damage that you see.”
The day before, she declared a state of emergency for the city. And on Tuesday, Iron County followed with its own state of emergency.
“This came as a real shock and I don’t think a lot of people were prepared for it,” said George Colson, emergency manager for the county.
East of the neighborhoods hit hard, SUU was also left cleaning up.
SUU interim president Mindy Benson said about 200 of their students were displaced. She said the school was providing temporary University housing for those students.
“Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this flooding. It’s been a devastating loss and it’s been humbling to be on the ground today to see what people are suffering and going through,” Benson said.
The city and county were also providing sandbags, and hundreds of volunteers were helping to fill those bags and stack them around a church meetinghouse and nearby homes.
More rain and storms were expected in the area in the coming days.
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