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After heavy floods, Moab residents prepare for another round

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 19:54:30-04

MOAB, Utah — After heavy rain and flash flooding washed out a section of Kane Creek Road near Moab Wednesday night, crews spent Thursday attempting to repair it before another round of potential flooding.

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About two inches of rain fell over the eastern Utah city in an hour. The storm brought strong winds and hail, while turning Main Street into a river.

“It was like a hurricane in the desert. It was just insanity,” Jill Upleger said after staying in Moab for the night.

“I thought maybe there was a tornado,” said Jill’s husband Rick.

“According to records, it would be a 100-year storm event that we dealt with yesterday. It felt like a hundred year storm event,” said Moab City manager Joel Linares.

Moab City reports the majority of damage was to dozens of homes and businesses when floodwaters overran the city’s storm system. Tree branches dropped on countless cars. Power lines fell and a gas-line broke.

Linares said the town is rushing to get things cleaned up before another potential for flash flooding.

“Prepare as much as you can. Wait and see where the storm actually rolls through and the monsoons pop back up," said Linares. "It’s feast or famine. You’re either having a drought or you’re having a flood. You kinda got to pick your poison, I guess.”

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To prepare for more flooding, eleven cities from northern Utah collected 25,000 sandbags for Moab. By noon Thursday, they were being filled by volunteers.

“There are amazing communities around the state and it’s good to be able to help some of those out when they are in need,” said Vineyard City manager Jacob McHargue.

Despite the damaging storm, Moab City leaders report no injures. Power has been restored and there was little damage to the city’s infrastructure.

Utah County cities also donated an additional 25,000 sandbags to Cedar City as they, too, expect strong storms after flash flooding earlier in the week.