Officials say residents heeded warnings, responded well to flooding

Posted at 8:40 PM, Sep 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-12 22:40:33-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Communities in Southern Utah are recovering after heavy rain flooded several streets.

Emergency coordinators said there was only minor property damage reported, and they account that to homeowners being prepared and listening to the many warnings.

Flash flood alerts have gone out several times in the past few weeks, and on Wednesday those alerts were very real. A low-lying rainstorm poured close to an inch of rain in a very short period of time over the county. Pete Kuhlmann, Washington County Emergency Services director, said the rains caused flooding in several neighborhoods.

“We had some flooding in Hurricane,” he said. “Mud slides and a little bit of flooding in Toquerville too. We assisted them with some sandbags to help. “

Angell Heights in Hurricane got the brunt of the storm, but homeowner Sam Cohen said, aside from a little dirt and some sandbags, the neighborhood is pretty much back to normal.

“The city was coming by, and they brought their street sweepers,” Cohen said. “They brought the tractors by and started skimming the street. And within about an hour or so, it’s almost as if nothing really happened.”

But Kuhlmann said homeowners shouldn’t let their guard down. Those living in low-lying areas should be mindful of the alerts, know the topography, and have sandbags and diversions ready when the heavy rain hits. Residents should also have a grab-and-go bag ready, just in case there’s an evacuation.

“We would rather err on the side of making people aware and be ready than not say anything and all of the sudden there’s a big surprise,” Kuhlmann said.

Additional tips for being flood ready can be found on the state’s emergency preparedness website.