Flooding hits Garfield County due to frozen ground and rain storm

Mar 12, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2023, 6:18 am

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah — A combination of heavy rain and ice-covered dirt led to some homes in Garfield County being damaged Saturday.

County officials said that one of the issues they’ve seen is that the ground is still frozen, so drains are still covered with ice, leaving the water with nowhere to go.

Joe Adams with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said they’ve been anticipating the weather and preparing for it.

“The more prepared people are, the more prepared we are as a county, the more ready we are going to be to get through it,” Adams said.

The county has about 5,300 people who live in several small towns across the rural area. Most of the flooding they’ve seen has been in the low-lying farm areas, areas near riverbeds. So far, county officials have heard of five homes damaged.

The sheriff’s office helped pool together resources across the county to set up areas where people could fill sandbags. Adams said they’d seen just a great response from the communities.

“We had dozens of volunteers that were out there. I mean, as much as our search and rescue knows in our sheriff’s office as to where everybody in town is, and everybody just wants to see the best for everybody else,” he expressed. “So, you know, having all of those volunteers and having all of that help is incredibly, incredibly useful, and we’re very thankful for that.”

The Panguitch Wrestling Team joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members to fill 800 sandbags Friday night at the Panguitch Arena. Over the last couple of days, they’ve handed out at least 1,500 sandbags.

Panguitch is at a similar elevation as Parley’s summit, which is why the ground and area are so cold.

The sheriff’s office is working on getting the word out and warning residents to be prepared for more.

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Flooding hits Garfield County due to frozen ground and rain storm