Heavy downpour floods at least 30 homes in Iron County
Published: August 17, 2012 11:31PM
Updated: August 18, 2012 07:07AM

A massive Friday evening thunderstorm in Iron County overwhelmed storm drainage systems, leading to basement flooding in at least 30 homes in the Cedar City and Enoch areas.

In less than an hour, beginning about 6 p.m., Enoch got more than 2 inches of rain and the eastern part of Cedar City saw up to 1 1/2 inches.

The water rushed down the foothills to the east and into the lowest points in the city, said Enoch Police Sgt. Mike Berg. The heaviest flooding was concentrated on the east side of the city near Interstate 15, where the flood control outlets are. Residents reported two to three feet of water at the worst, mostly in basements, Berg said.

One Enoch man told Berg that he had not seen flooding or a rainstorm like this in 22 years.

After the first calls came in at 7 p.m., hundreds of fellow Enoch residents, as well as people from Parowan and Cedar City, arrived to help. Some offered to give affected residents a place to stay for the night, Berg said.

“We’ve just got an overwhelming number of people willing to help,” Berg said. They joined forces with about 45 officials from four agencies, including Iron County Emergency Management.

Volunteers and emergency responders were sandbagging Friday night, thanks to the 1,000 bags provided by Iron County Search and Rescue. The city also has several large pumps going to provide relief until residents feel they can handle themselves, Berg said.

As of 8:30 p.m., Berg felt they were getting the upper hand on the water. He was not aware of any families being displaced.

State Road 14, about a mile east of Cedar City, was closed because of debris and falling rocks dislodged by the storm.

“It just rained too hard, too fast,” said National Weather Service forecaster Glen Merrill.

The heaviest rain fell between 6:15 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.

cimaron@sltrib.com