Enoch City - Residents filled sandbags last week in response to flash flooding in Cedar City and for the rest of the Iron County to prepare for rain, but they did not hold-up here, says George Paulson, the county’s emergency management coordinator.
“There was just too much water. The sandbags could not hold,” Paulson said, explaining that about 200 homes have been damaged in Enoch City from the excessive rain, hail and wind that flooded the entire city. “I’m exhausted. We all are.”
Paulson says that Enoch’s flood is “massively worse” than the floods that hit Cedar City last week, which according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, had experienced between two to four inches of rain within a two-hour period yesterday.
On Sunday, Enoch City Mayor Geoffrey Chestnut declared a state of emergency, which is the third declaration of emergency in response to the flooding in Iron County. Both Iron County and Cedar City have issued declarations for state support to help with mitigation and clean-up efforts.
“We have, on scene, many resources,” Chestnut said on Enoch City’s Facebook Page. “It is devastation, blocks of devastation ... We can plan and prepare.”
The excessive flooding in Enoch required regional help and resources from Washington County, Washington City, Cedar City, Hisdale, and the Red Cross, which had to disassemble its Cedar City location for its new location in Enoch City. The Red Cross is located on Midvalley Road in Enoch, right off Minersville Highway, at 451 East Midvalley Road, Enoch.
Some house basements were filled to the ceilings with flood water, says Don Lester, director of the Enoch Red Cross Relief Center. “We have volunteers helping to mop out their houses, and those impacted are coming to the center for relief. The community is donating supplies in abundance.”
Right now, Lester says, dumpsters are being placed throughout the city’s neighborhoods to help citizens throw away damaged goods, like bedding, food and furniture.
For Paulson, who manages the emergency response for Iron County, he says that the communities in southern Utah are coming together more than ever to offer mutual aid. Today, Paulson and many emergency response partners will conduct their damage assessment from the recent monsoon.
“We have much to learn,” he says, noting that Mother Nature is basically in control with her weather patterns.