Community Donates Lunch, Supplies To Miners After Deadly Flash Flood In Emery County

Aug 6, 2021, 6:01 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2023, 11:58 am

EMERY COUNTY, Utah – As clean-up efforts continued Friday at Gentry Mountain Mine following a deadly flash flood, the community donated lunch and supplies to miners.

“We’ve had businesses reach out to us with large donations,” said Janalee Luke with the Emery County Sheriff’s Office. “We’ve had individuals reach out to us and neighboring counties and they’ve been very generous in their donations.”

The flash flood hit late Sunday night, just as the graveyard shift workers for Gentry Mountain Mine were coming to work.

The wall of water swept away three mining vehicles.

Search crews found the body of 48-year-old Gary Nelson of Fairview the next morning, six miles downstream, according to the sheriff’s office.

Nelson had worked at the mine for 10 years and leaves behind a wife and three daughters.

“Coal miners are like a family,” said Lori Ann Larsen, the human resources manager for Gentry Mountain Mining. “It really is amazing to me to see how the community comes together at a time like this.”

The mine can’t resume operations until repairs and cleanup from the flash flood are finished, which could take several weeks, the sheriff’s office said.

The coal mine employs approximately 125 people in the area, according to the sheriff’s office.

Officials said the delivery of soup and sandwiches was meant to show support for the miners and their families.

“Our community steps up and they want to help,” Luke said.

Following Sunday’s tragic loss, the sheriff’s office said the trips up the road to the mine have been somber, but that Friday’s delivery had a different feeling.

“It was really to be able to drive up there today and be able to do some good and see the men come in from their shift and enjoy their lunch,” Luke said. “They were happy. They were appreciative.”

“There were smiles on their faces probably for the first time I’ve seen since this happened,” Larsen said

GoFundMe* account has been established for Nelson’s family.

*KSL-TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Community Donates Lunch, Supplies To Miners After Deadly Flash Flood In Emery County