Draper declares state of emergency as torrential rain slams northern Utah
Aug 4, 2023, 5:45 AM | Updated: 12:54 pm
DRAPER, Utah — Severe thunderstorms rolled through the Salt Lake Valley, leaving several Draper roads damaged and causing flooding and safety concerns Thursday night.
Draper Mayor Troy Walker declared a state of emergency due to flooding and said the following roads were damaged or left impassible due to standing water and slide debris:
- Highland Drive at 1300 East
- Roundabout at Rambling Road and Mike Weir Drive
- Bangerter Parkway from 13800 South to Highland Drive
“A little over 2 inches came down in over an hour, and so we had major localized rain flooding events that have done pretty extensive damage to some of our public infrastructure,” Walker said.
Traverse Ridge Road became a raging river and viewer-submitted video showed several cars driving through the deep waters.
Rain coming down hard in Draper!
Stacy A Russell Harker took this video at Traverse Ridge Road and Manila this evening. pic.twitter.com/mrIRcEde2C
— KSL 5 TV (@KSL5TV) August 4, 2023
Sgt. Cam Roden with the Utah Highway Patrol said the southbound Interstate 15 onramp at 14600 South was closed due to a mudslide, and a KSL viewer submitted a photo of the sinkhole that appeared on Bangerter Parkway near 14200 South.
Walker said the Bangerter Parkway area will take the longest to clean up as the sidewalk is gone and gas lines are exposed. The road collapsed during Thursday’s storm and Walker estimated it’s about a 60-foot gap.
“Our goal as a city is to get the road open, get the infrastructure safe so people can commute,” Walker said. All roads had reopened as of Friday afternoon, but one lane on Bangerter Parkway remained closed as crews continue their repair work.
Along 1300 East at Highland Drive, firefighters had to rescue people after three or four cars got trapped in floodwaters.
“We realized it was going to an extensive, extensive amount of damage and we were going to need some help,” Walker added. The city has set up an emergency center and is coordinating with Salt Lake County Emergency Services. They expect to find more damage as the sun comes up Friday.
Walker said residents can call the city to report any damaged infrastructure and their goal is to get things back to normal as soon as possible.
The severe weather also forced Real Salt Lake’s round of 16 Leagues Cup match vs. Liga MX’s León to be postponed to Friday at 7 p.m. The USANA Amphitheatre was also evacuated during The Offspring concert due to thunderstorms.
For those curious, this is what last night's radar looked like around 9:10 PM. The magenta and pink are about 60-70 dBZ. Now dBZ is a measurement of rain/hail size, and 60-70 is not very common here in Utah. Large rain drops and a dense count of them really caused problems! pic.twitter.com/C9q6PfhrNF
— Matthew Johnson (@KSL_Matt) August 4, 2023
Willard flash flooding
Thursday afternoon’s thunderstorms led to flash flooding in Willard, sending a wall of mud across yards and into homes.
An intense rainstorm hit the hillside and mountains above town too fast to soak in the ground, quickly turning into a river of mud charging straight toward several homes, including Mike Wetzel’s house.
“I just heard a rumbling. And next thing I know, there’s just a river of mud coming down the neighbor’s driveway,” Wetzel said. “And I just watched it come right straight across the street, over the curb, and right in the yard. Filled it full of about a foot of mud.”