Strong storm wreaks havoc on Utah canyon roads

Heavy rains from a strong storm passing through the Wasatch Front on Thursday evening prompted residents living in Loafer Canyon in Utah County to evacuate the area and closed some canyon roads.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Spencer Cannon announced the evacuation order just after 7:30 p.m. He did not say how many people were affected. So far, there are no reports of injuries.

The flooding is near last summer’s Bald Mountain Fire burn scar. That fire started with a lightning strike and merged with the nearby Pole Creek fire to burn 120,000 acres. A recent report said dangerous debris leftover from the fires could wash into Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills for years.

A flash flood warning was in effect for Elk Ridge, near Loafer Canyon, until 9:45 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The sheriff’s office has also received reports of a mudslide about 7 miles up Payson Canyon near The Grotto, a popular hiking destination with a waterfall, Cannon said.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched to another report of a mudslide covering parts of U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, near the Tie Fork rest area. Between 3 and 5 inches of mud are covering the road in spots, and five semi trucks were stuck, UHP said.

Troopers anticipate U.S. 6 will be closed until noon Friday.

Unified Police in Salt Lake County responded to a rock and mudslide just before 8:30 p.m. in Little Cottonwood Canyon near Snowbird Resort. Police later reported rock and mud debris throughout the canyon and closed it Thursday evening. It will likely be closed overnight.

UPD told FOX 13 that some people and 25 cars are trapped in a half-mile stretch between Tanner Flat and B gate in Little Cottonwood Canyon. None of those people were injured.

A helicopter will sweep the canyon in search of vehicles that may have been washed off the road, UPD tweeted.


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