Kanab residents clean up after flash flood damages a school, homes and businesses

Posted at 7:39 PM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 23:44:31-04

SOUTHERN UTAH -- Clean-up efforts continue in southern Utah Thursday night after flash flooding caused major damage in Kanab Wednesday afternoon.

A storm cell struck around 3 p.m. Wednesday, flooding several homes and business in the area along with the local elementary school.

Kanab Elementary principal, Braxton Bateman says things are looking much better Thursday after the community came together to help each other after the flood.

"It was pretty amazing to see the town of Kanab come together and help each other out," Bateman said.

Among the damaged areas were five flooded classrooms at Kanab Elementary, and there was also damage at a hospital and a city park.

“It went up to the doors, it seeped in the doors,” said Principal Braxton Bateman. “Two of the classrooms it went in and flooded the whole room, all the way up to the hallway. Two of the other classrooms it flooded halfway, ruined materials, ruined the carpet.”

School resumes in two weeks, and Bateman said he isn’t worried about having the damage cleaned up in time. He said they are still evaluating the total cost of the cleanup.

Water flooded yards and basements at several residences, including the Downwards.

"The storm was just out of sight," Mike Downward said. "We had never really seen anything like that around here."

Residents described the storm as a river raging through town.

"Probably 4-5 inches of water flowing over the driveway, and another 6-8 inches flowing around the other side of the house," Downward said.

Bulldozers have gone through town to remove mud and debris, and neighbors have helped each other clean homes and yards.

Karma Heaton and her kids spent the day cleaning out a family member's home.

"They've had lots of people out helping and lots of volunteers out helping," Heaton said.

The damage may be widespread, but the support is endless in this small community.