Cleanup Underway In Enoch After Flash Flooding Damages 200 Homes
Aug 2, 2021, 10:02 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2023, 12:04 pm
IRON COUNTY, Utah — Scores of Utah homeowners and businesses were left underwater following massive flooding Sunday as record rainfall slammed the state.
Entire neighborhoods were hit hard. Mud, water, rocks and debris rushed into homes.
Sunday night’s violent storms turned roads into rivers and it buried others under mud and rockslides.
Some places even saw screaming winds and hail.
On Half Mile Road in Enoch, every single house on one side of the street got hit hard.
A flash flood, carrying about three and a half feet of water, basically came through the fence and then burst through fences all the way down the street, sending water into homes.
Folks who live in the neighborhood lost a lot, but they’re still managing to find a silver lining.
“Well, this is what’s left of our backyard,” said Laura Rigtrup. “The water came through and all the houses down here, all the fences — just blew down all the fences, posts, everything.”
Laura and Keith Rigtrup have had to put up with a lot lately.
“Still kind of in shock that this is what your house looks like,” said Keith.
Four storms have hit the the area over the past couple weeks, but none like the one that came through Sunday.
An ominous looking sky over Cedar City as rain fell to the ground 🌧
📹: Alexandra Turk pic.twitter.com/BefbeUY6e7
— KSL 5 TV (@KSL5TV) August 2, 2021
“Frantic, it just happened so fast,” said Laura.
Heavy rains quickly turned into rivers, flooding around 200 homes in Enoch.
“It got about two and a half feet high right there,” said Keith.
The floods broke through the windows at the Rigtrup’s home, filling up their basement with mud and water.
“We were worried about this window well here, and all of a sudden, you could just see a surge of water coming up. My husband said, ‘Go check downstairs.’ I go downstairs, water is coming in the window well, the window shatters. I scream, ‘It broke! It broke!’ My son comes running down, the next one breaks, so it just surged,” said Laura.
Jeff Thorpe had a similar experience.
Jeff was standing against the window well in the basement when it suddenly exploded water and glass flew everywhere. He was knocked to the ground and his arms got cut up @KSL5TV #Enochflooding pic.twitter.com/LTkf0UykMm
— Dan Rascon (@TVDanRascon) August 2, 2021
He was standing against the window well in the basement when it suddenly exploded, sending water and glass everywhere.
“I had no reaction, except to fly back,” he said. “I’ve got a cut finger, a cut hand and a cut wrist.”
Dakota Winter’s basement filled to about eight feet of water.
“Started filling up the entire basement,” she said. “We only had about five minutes to grab what we could out of there.”
But all day Monday, hundreds of volunteers converged on the street — hauling out furniture, carpet, clothing and other belongings.
For Keith and Laura, though, some things aren’t replaceable.
“The family heirlooms that we won’t be able to get back,” said Laura. “The rest of the stuff, it’s just stuff, but the memories that go along with the family heirlooms, that’s what’s the hardest.”
Massive clean-up effort in Enoch today after a huge storm caused major flooding. Every home on this street has basements and backyards filled with mud and water. #flood #KSL #KSLTV #enoch pic.twitter.com/5n6FM73iQa
— Tania Dean (@taniadeanksl) August 2, 2021
Despite what they’ve lost, this disaster helped them realize what they have — neighbors, friends, and a community who are there for them. And the feeling is definitely mutual.
“I just told them, as soon as we’re done with ours, we’ll try and go somewhere else and help somebody else,” said Keith.
The mayor declared a state of emergency Sunday night, and the Washington County Disaster Assessment Team is coming in Tuesday to help figure out how much it’s going to cost to clean everything up.
— Dan Rascon (@TVDanRascon) August 2, 2021
Allen Cavalieri, the coordinator of a volunteer tent that was set up in the area, said hundreds of people have stepped up to help.
“A lot of these are families, with hours and hours of donations and time that they’ve donated,” he said.
“It’s overwhelming,” Cavalieri went on to say. “We’re just sitting here and people are showing up with food, supplies, water. Anywhere that they can help, they’re helping.”