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.
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.
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.
Terrible flooding on I-15 a few miles north of Cedar City @NWSSaltLakeCity @WasatchSnow @UDOTTRAFFIC Luckily the man in the vehicle was able to get out safely pic.twitter.com/UN2GiXZ7ul
— Dane Harrington (@Dane_Harrington) August 1, 2021
Look at the flooding damage in this Enoch neighborhood on Tumbleweed Rd. The owner said there was about 8 or 9 feet of water. It burst the windows and flooded the basement. A complete loss. #UTWX @fox13 pic.twitter.com/QPAl4QkMLj
— Sydney Glenn (@SydneyGlennTV) August 2, 2021
The Crew at St108 in BCC worked closely with @UPDSL to flush trapped cars up and over Guardsmen Pass as multiple landslides covered SR190 https://t.co/EdmmG67e7t injuries have been reported,but the crew helped change several tires on cars damaged by debris. pic.twitter.com/ZFOdq6WDuW
— Unified Fire (@FireAuthority) August 2, 2021
Aerials of the flooding in Enoch. City says runoff flowed in from the unpopulated mountainside east of Enoch City, through culverts under Interstate 15, and alfalfa fields, all came into Enoch neighborhoods.
10% of the homes were affected by the severe flooding @KUTV2News pic.twitter.com/SK9QNwoZMq
— Kelly Vaughen (@KellyVaughen) August 2, 2021