Gov. Herbert visits Hildale as search for 13th flood victim continues

Posted at 8:09 PM, Sep 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-20 00:08:05-04

HILDALE, Utah - Gov. Gary Herbert visited the site of the devastating Hildale flood Saturday, saying it’s an event that has affected the entire state.

Herbert met with local first responders to hear firsthand accounts of what happened during Monday’s flash flood events. Herbert was out of the country at the time, and he said he brought with him condolences of all those he’d met with that week.

“This is a sad day for the people of Hildale,” Herbert said. “Thoughts and prayers are with the families here in Hildale from all over Utah. So our three million people mourn with the people of Hildale, and the families who have lost loved ones in this tragedy.”

Herbert watched previously unreleased video taken by a local resident, which showed the wall of water sweep the two vans carrying three mothers and 13 children into the Short Creek. Herbert then met with the fathers and the three boys who survived the flood.

“I appreciate the resilience of the people of Hildale,” Herbert said. “Their faith in god, they’re united as families and helping their neighbors, and I think that’s a lesson we can all learn.”

While Herbert toured the affected area with local mayors, search efforts continued for 6-year-old Tyson Black, the final victim of the flood who has not yet been found. Professional crews focused their efforts on many of the same areas, digging through debris piles and searching heavy brush.

Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said this weekend those regional crews will demobilize, transitioning search efforts back to local teams.

“Right now I’m hopeful for just about anything I can get to bring this to a resolution,” Pulsipher said.

Saturday’s search again returned no sign of Black. Sunday has been designated as a day of rest for search efforts. Crews will begin searching again on Monday.