Heavy rains and standing water on the roads prompted a flash flood warning in parts of Wasatch County and Summit County on Wednesday evening — but the alert sent to residents in Salt Lake County was an error, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.
That warning was meant for the Tollgate burn scar area, where an estimated half an inch of rain was expected to fall over the course of a half-hour, according to a tweet from the organization. But due to a “software glitch,” the geographic location hadn’t been changed in the system from Salt Lake County and it was sent to residents in that area instead, according to Mike Seaman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Large hail and heavy rains sparked a flood advisory that was in effect for a few hours in Salt Lake County on Wednesday night, after storm drain backup overflowed into some intersections. Severe thunderstorm warnings were also in effect in Orem, Lehi and Pleasant Grove in Utah County, where the weather service said there could be 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail.
Those were not considered life-threatening, Seaman said. But there was potential that the situation in Summit County could be.
“Wildfire activity leaves a burn scar, and when you rain on top of those, sometimes you get what we call debris flows with just a bunch of mud and rock and burned tree debris, whatever, that kind of flows downstream,” he said.
In Utah County, the rains triggered flash floods and mudslides in Diamond Fork Canyon, according to a tweet from the county sheriff spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon. The area had been closed during the Coal Hollow Fire, then re-opened, and an 8.6 mile section has been closed again, he said.