USA – Flash Floods in Utah-Arizona Border Town Leave at Least 8 Dead

Flash floods in the border area of Utah and Arizona have left at least 8 people dead and 5 others missing. Local emergency services described the flash flood as a “wall of water”.

The fast moving flood water swept away two vehicles which were carrying 16 passengers in the sister towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona on Monday 14 September 2015. The flash floods swept the vehicles several hundred yards downstream. Three people survived.

The area is thought to be prone to flash floods. Rainfall in the nearby mountains washed down the surrounding canyons, flooding the town below. Several streets are flooded and covered with mud, sand, boulders and flood debris. Many homes have been left without power and water due to infrastructure damage.

In a statement yesterday, Washington County Emergency Services, said:

“At approx. 5:00 PM heavy rains caused flash flooding in the Hildale area. The flooding caused extensive damage and several vehicles were washed downstream. In the flash flooding two occupied vehicles were hit by a large wall of water and debris at the Canyon Street Maxwell Crossing and were carried into the Flood. There were 16 people with the vehicles who were washed downstream by the flooding. At this time there are 6 confirmed deceased, three surviving victims, one was transported to DRMC for treatment, and seven people are still missing at this time. Emergency responders from Hildale, Colorado City, Hurricane, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue, Mohave County, and Apple Valley are continuing to search for the missing.”

Since then, Washington County Emergency Services reported that the body of another victim had been found, bringing the number of dead to 8, with 5 still missing. In a statement a few hours ago they said:

“An additional victim has been located below the Central Street crossing bringing the total number of confirmed fatalities to 8. There are still 5 unaccounted for. Work continues”.

floods utah arizona july 2015
An area prone to flash floods. Previous flash floods in Washington County, Utah, July 2015. Photo: Washington County Emergency Services