Utah faces flooding

Officials declared a state of emergency in Washington County, Utah, where high water flooded at least 12 homes by Tuesday.

BY HEATHER MOYER | ST. GEORGE, Utah | January 12, 2005


Officials declared a state of emergency in Washington County, Utah, where high water flooded at least 12 homes by Tuesday.

One man is missing and presumed dead after being swept away while driving through a flooded street. Heavy rains and melting snow have forced the Virgin, San Juan, and Santa Clara rivers from their banks and into homes in St. George, Santa Clara, Brookside, Bloomington, Toquerville and Enterprise.

"We're getting a lot of rain and the water is still rising," said Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith. "We're sand-bagging like crazy."

Thousands of volunteers are sandbagging around homes and buildings. Long-time residents are saying this is the worst flooding they have ever seen, added Smith.

Three bridges in the county have been destroyed as the rivers approach 25 and 100-year highs. Some residents have been evacuated to a local convention complex in St. George.

Northern Utah is seeing heavy snow and the Forest Service issued an avalanche warning for all of the state's mountain ranges.


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