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Heavy rain floods southern Utah towns (video)

Published July 27, 2013 4:42 pm

Weather • Rainfall in Cedar City set a new one-day record.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As cities throughout southern Utah recovered from flooding over Friday night, others endured another round of thunderstorms that turned streets into rivers on Saturday.

Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack said police responded to calls of debris in the roads, missing manhole covers and a few flooded homes. Womack said he saw water running through Center Street.

"It was running like a river," he said.

The rain stopped about 8 p.m.

The National Weather Service reported Saturday that the Cedar City airport recorded 2.25 inches of rain inches of rain. In the first 45 minutes, the total rainfall was already 2 inches. It was an all-time, one-day record for the city, breaking the 2.1 inches recorded in September 1967.

Rocky Mountain Power reported that as much as 5,700 Cedar City homes and businesses were without power. By 8 p.m., that number went down to about 2,900.

The weather service issued a flash flood watch through late Saturday night as thunderstorm conditions continued to prevail in south central and south west Utah.

Forecasters also issued a flash flood warning for Cedar City and Central Iron County near Bryce Canyon National Park, meaning flooding was either imminent or had already happened in those areas. The weather service warned of torrential rains could overwhelm local drainages and damage homes in low-lying areas.

The town of Washington also braced for more rain Saturday after their streets turned to rivers Friday night. According to Mayor Ken Neilson, about 10 to 15 houses in the city's north end were flooded and damaged. Emergency workers worked through the night filling sandbags and delivering them to residents who wanted them.Neilson said in some areas, it looked like someone could go tubing through the streets if they wanted to.

On Saturday, residents helped each other clean up while keeping one eye on the clouds.

"They really stepped up and helped their neighbors," Neilson said.

In Hurricane, police reported mud and water flowing down 2050 South in the Angel Heights area Friday evening. Fire fighters and city personnel sandbagged the area and there were no immediate reports of structural damage, though some homes did have "a small amount of water" in their basements, police report.

A police dispatcher said some of the affected homes are located in the Coral Heights subdivision.

The water forced authorities to close several streets and intersections, including 2050 S. Angel Heights, 1850 S. Angel Heights and 1150 West.

Hurricane Mayor Tom Hirschi said the rain began falling Friday evening between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. About an inch of water fell in town, but Hirschi said as much as 3 inches fell southeast of the city in the Apple Valley area. A wash carried the flood water into Hurricane.

"We had a lot of water running for a little while," Hirschi said.

There were no reports of injuries.

kbennion@sltrib.com

jdalrymple@sltrib.com