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Communities in Utah pull together with flash flooding on the horizon

Posted at 10:20 PM, Sep 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-30 00:20:10-04

WOODLAND, Utah -- Filling more than 6,000 sandbags between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, residents said after returning from fire evacuations, the work is far from over.

“It’s all hand on deck right now and everyone is just willing to help wherever they’re needed to help,” said Trent Leavitt a resident in Woodland Hills.

Leavitt said when his family was evacuated, the moment was surreal.

“Is it really happening, are we really being told to get out of our homes?” said Leavitt.

After the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for most of the state of Utah, Leavitt and his neighbors down by the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain Fire burn scars came together to prepare.

“This fire covered 120,000 acres, 188 square miles of land and we’re just one small part of that,” said Kari Malkovich, a spokesperson for Woodland Hills City. “A little bit of rain would help extinguish the rest of the fire. Too much rain then can provide mudslides, debris flow, and potential flooding.”

Though the landscape will have years of healing ahead, Malkovich said their “teeny town” is a close-knit community that will keep working together.

“We’re not out of the woods,” said Malkovich. “We’re still in pre-evacuation mode and we will be until the fire is put completely out.”

With the burn scar reaching to close to home and the danger too real to ignore, Leavitt said watching everything come together has been miraculous.

“You become very grateful for your friends, your family and community that put in the work to save your homes and community,” said Leavitt.