WEATHER

Heavy Rain, Flooding Impacts All Across Utah

Aug 2, 2021, 12:52 AM | Updated: 2:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Severe weather affected areas all across the state of Utah on Sunday. 

In Cedar City, rain turned roads into rivers, flooding homes, as people brought out the sand bags.

“Just unbelievable to see the amount of water that is falling in this area,” said resident Blaine Cox.

And in nearby Enoch, it was a similar story. Rushing waters carried a trailer down the street as neighbors looked on.

“Oh my gosh, do you see this flood?” a boy could be heard saying in Jillian Seymour’s video.

And hail covered the ground like snow.

In Tooele, a manhole overflowed with water as cars drove through flooded intersections.

Heavy rain and flooding also hit downtown Salt Lake City.

 

Enoch Declares State Of Emergency

A State of Emergency was declared Sunday night in Enoch due to the flooding.

KSL’s Tania Dean flew down in Chopper 5 to get a look at the damage.

She described the flooding in the Cedar City area as “disastrous,” adding that backyards looked like swimming pools.

Dean said multiple people were out in the streets, while many others were trying to pump water out.

“What we’re seeing is probably what they haven’t seen here in over 50 years,” said Dean.

Enoch City Mayor Geoffrey Chestnut spoke to KSL-TV about what went on in the small community Sunday afternoon. 

“We’ve gotten reports that Enoch received somewhere between two and a half and four inches of water in a two-hour period,” said Chestnut. “Most of the families that have been here for decades have not seen that ever.”

Chestnut said all afternoon, the city has been dealing with substantial water coming off of the mountain in the community, filling basements.

He estimated that more than 200 families, which accounts for approximately 10 percent of the population, were affected by the flooding.

“What we’re dealing with right now is trying to help those families get supplies and recovery in order to get basements pumped and taken care of,” he said.

Chestnut said they’re also in the process of assessing damage.

City manager Rob Dotson compared the scene in Enoch to flooding in Mississippi and other places with big rivers.

“This looked like the Mississippi River had come into our community,” he said. “Now, that’s, of course, amazing to us in a desert where this rarely happens, if ever. And that’s where we’re at now.”

A Red Cross station has been set up at a Latter-Day Saint Church building, located at 451 East and Midvalley Road, which is near the public works building.

Chestnut said people were filling sandbags there and “getting other issues sorted out.”

“Families are displaced, families need resources — they’re at Midvalley Road,” he said.

The mayor went on to say, “We’re very fortunate that we live in such a tight-knit community, that even though we’re Enoch, we have our family and friends in Cedar City and the greater county beyond. We’ve even had resources sent as far away as Hildale, coming to help us in aid. Donations are pouring in.”

Despite all of the help, Chestnut said he didn’t want residents to think that everything’s over.

“(Monday) morning is where the real work’s going to begin in assessing what we can do after we’ve spent all night long pumping basements,” he said.

The mayor said, as of 9:30 p.m. Sunday, no injuries have been reported.

“We’re still in the early preliminary assessment; we have not had any EMS calls in that regard,” said Chestnut.

Iron County Emergency Manager George Colson said he’s never seen anything like this.

“Not in 40 years,” he said.

Colson said residents are first trying to get everything that could possibly be ruined out of their house, then working to figure out where they’re going to stay.

“They’re looking for help to pump out their houses and their basements, and they’re just trying to assess how much damage there really is,” he said.

Colson helped declare the state of emergency in Enoch, but really, he said the emergency spans across all of Iron County.

“When we declared a county-wide emergency like that, it allows us to roll up all of the damage in the county into one thing so we can meet those state and FEMA thresholds for assistance,” he said.

Colson said people can help out by giving donations.

“With the massive damage in Enoch, there’s going to be a lot of people without clothes, they’re not going to be able to cook. There’s just, they’re not going to have some of the basics, so if they can donate that to the Red Cross, that would be helpful,” he said.

People who need help with flooding or with resources can also can visit Enoch City’s webpage to request help.

Cedar City Sandbagging Efforts

Residents, police officers and city officials sandbagged the streets of Cedar City Sunday afternoon to help keep the roads from flooding. 

Blaine Cox who shot this video and helped in the sandbagging efforts said he’s lived in Cedar City for 20+ years and has never seen anything like what they’ve experienced over the last several days.

“There’s basements that are flooding, neighborhoods that are flooding,” he said. “I was actually, just even a couple days ago, helping clean up mud that was flowing into people’s backyards. Basements, we were sucking water out of basements.”

But Cox said he’s witnessing the best in humanity right now as neighbors are helping neighbors.

He said the community response has been incredible. 

Weather In Tooele

Major flooding also hit the Tooele area after three inches of rain fell in less than two hours.

The storm hit around 6 p.m. Sunday, but as of 9:45 p.m., things had calmed down on Main Street.

KSL’s Ladd Egan said snow plows were out, cleaning up some gravel and debris on the road.

County and city crews were also out late, assessing the damage and getting sandbags to areas that need them.

The water rose quickly Sunday afternoon, flooding a basement apartment on Utah Avenue in Tooele.

Water came through the window and covered the floor, as seen in a video sent to KSL by Jimmie Emerson.

In the video, you could also see Emerson’s front yard turn into a river of water as rain continued to pour.

KSL-TV spoke to one woman was out making a delivery when the storm hit.

“The manhole covers were all blown off, one after the other after the other,” said Dani Flores. “All along Main Street, there was rock and rubble. I was just grateful I had a jeep instead of a car. There were cars completely engulfed.”

Flores was driving back to Tooele from Stockton.

She said she’s never seen a storm come in so fast and dump so much rain in Tooele.

It was also her first day on the job making grocery deliveries. Needless to say, it turned out to be quite the adventure.

KSL-TV also spoke with the owner of an Anytime Fitness who said water covered the floor of the gym.

“They tell it was a good three or four inches in here, so nowhere for it to go,” said Shay McQuiston. “It was really pouring in through the front door. We had the full force of everything coming in.”

The gym is worried about treadmills and other equipment and checking to see what’s damaged.

There was also a drainage pipe that burst in the ceiling, causing damage.

Neighboring businesses in the shopping center were also flooded. They’re not left cleaning up the water, gravel and mud.

As of the latest update Sunday night, Assistant County Manager Britany Lopez said 34 homes suffered damage, as well as three businesses and three city facilities.

Lopez also said Canyon Settlement and Middle Canyon will be closed until further notice.

Salt Lake City Streets Flood

Streets in Salt Lake City flooded after rain pounded the area.

This video shows cars slowing down as they drove through the intersection of 400 South and 400 East.

Dark clouds hovered in the sky for several hours as the rain came down on neighborhoods and parks.

Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons

Officials with the Utah Department of Transportation said both Big and Little Cottonwood canyons will remain closed throughout the evening due to mudslides and debris caused by the flooding.

UDOT has not yet released a time when the area will reopen.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Heavy Rain, Flooding Impacts All Across Utah