USA – 1 Dead as Severe Flash Floods Hit Utah for Second Time in a Week

Heavy rain has triggered more flash floods, mudslides and debris flows in areas of Utah, USA. One person died after being swept away by floods in Emery County. Areas of Cedar City and Iron County were also affected, just days after severe flooding on 26 July 2021.

Meanwhile in Colorado, massive mudslides have blocked major roads and left 100 people in vehicles stranded overnight.

Scene of the flash floods that struck in Emery County, Utah, 01 to 02 August 2021. Photo: Emery County Sheriffs Office

Deadly Floods in Utah

Emery County Sheriff’s Office reported 3 vehicles carrying miners working in the area were swept away flash floods in a canyon near the Gentry Mountain coal mine. “At approximately 10:15 p.m. on Sunday, August 1, 2021, as mine crews were heading up the hill to enter the Gentry Mountain coal mine, crews witnessed a wall of water and debris coming down Bear Canyon, the Sheriff’s Office said.”

Nine people survived but was one of the miners died when he was swept away and carried downstream. His body was later found after Emery County Sheriff’s Office and Emery County Search and Rescue searched throughout the night.

Elsewhere in the state, homes and vehicles were damaged by flooding in parts of Enterprise, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Tooele and nearby Stockton where one person had to be rescued. Power outages were also reported in some affected areas.

Roads were blocked by floods, mudslides and debris in several areas of the state, including roads in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Interstate 15 near Cedar City. Videos shared on Social Media showed the lucky escape of a driver of a vehicle swept off the Interstate 15 north of Cedar City.

The city and surrounding areas of Iron County are still recovering from the floods that struck on 26 July. This time the neighbouring city of Enoch, around 7 miles (11 km) to the north was the hardest hit.

National Weather Service Salt Lake City issued a Flash Flood Emergency, waring residents of the City of Enoch, “This is a life threatening situation. Seek higher ground NOW. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately. Rising water may engulf the vehicle and sweep it away.”

Local media said Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut issued a state of emergency late on 01 August. The mayor said around 200 homes were damaged by floods. Local told media reporters their homes were under water up to 5 to 8 feet (1.5 o 2.5 metres) deep. Enoch Red Cross opened a shelter to house those unable to stay in their homes.

Scene of the flash floods in Emery County, Utah, 01 to 02 August 2021. Photo: Emery County Sheriffs Office
After the flash floods in Emery County, Utah, 01 to 02 August 2021. Photo: Emery County Sheriffs Office
Flood debris in Cedar City Utah, 02 August 2021. Photo: Maile Wilson-Edwards, Mayor of Cedar City

Colorado Mudslides

Meanwhile in neighbouring Colorado, massive mudslides blocked Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon on 29 July 2021. About 10 mudslides stranded more than 100 people in their vehicles overnight, including nearly 30 people who took refuge in a tunnel.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said in an update of 02 August, “The state, local and federal authorities are working to clear debris from the canyon as quickly and safely as possible. We are also readying a state disaster declaration and a request for a federal declaration with the Biden administration.”

Average monthly rainfall for Glenwood Canyon during the month of July is 2.4 inches, but a total 4 inches dropped in just a five day period, causing significant damage.

“We have extensive damage to I-70 in multiple locations in Glenwood Canyon, and the monsoon weather pattern means this threat is ongoing,” the governor said.


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