Southern Utah storms lead to flash floods, sinkholes and washed-out roads

Jul 26, 2022, 6:50 AM

ST. GEORGE, Utah — People in southern Utah documented flash floods, sinkholes and washed-out roads Monday evening after storms soaked the area and brought some places precipitation for the first time in over 90 days.

Clayton Ashcraft, a storm chaser in St. George, watched a radar app closely and drove to where he thought the weather might hit hardest. The photographer captured flood waters ripping through a wash at Red Cliffs Campground near Leeds, roaring over a bridge.

He said he stayed far enough away and didn’t attempt to cross the bridge, and added that another couple had to turn around and drive away. Ashcraft said the water was headed toward Quail Creek Reservoir.

Ashcraft captured footage and a picture of an overturned car on Interstate 15 that from his understanding had hydroplaned and flipped on the interstate during the heavy rains.

“They had said the guy was out walking, so he was OK, but the emergency vehicles were there,” Ashcraft said, of what he saw.

Later in the evening, Ashcraft found a sinkhole in St. George that swallowed up the front of a car. The car is seen tipped forward with the trunk sticking in the air on 100 South near 900 East, at the north end of Utah Tech University.

The St. George Police Department told KSL TV a water line break caused the sinkhole and no injuries were reported. The road in the area was shut down Monday night.

A road south of Coral Pink Sand Dunes also shut down after two large sinkholes opened from flash floods. Mike Foote took video of the washed-out road, saying he was driving his FedEx truck and ended up having to take the long way around.

Ashcraft talked about how the rain was much-needed after going so long without it.

“I know a lot of people have been praying for it, probably a lot of dancing,” he said, with a laugh. “Doing what we can just to get rain.”

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Southern Utah storms lead to flash floods, sinkholes and washed-out roads