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Massive cleanup effort underway after flash flooding in Moab

Posted at 10:18 PM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 00:18:52-04

MOAB, Utah — In what is being called a "hundred-year flood," businesses, homeowners and others in Moab are picking up the pieces.

The streets of Moab are still covered in a layer of mud and dust, and the nearby (normally small) Mill Creek is tame once again.

Saturday night was a different story as videos showed Main Street becoming an actual river, forcing residents and businesses to seek higher ground.

READ: Moab City, Grand County offer resources to residents impacted by flooding

“It's a little overwhelming,” Mayor Joette Langianeseis said Monday.

She said she could barely sleep that night as flooding continued to ravage homes and businesses across town.

Langianeseis walked FOX 13 News through the area most affected, near 100 South.

While the streets were cleared quickly, some of the infrastructure might take years to rebuild. And with everything totaled, the city is facing an astronomical amount of damage.

“Our estimations at this point is we have over $10 million in damage,” Langianeseis said. "[That's] just to our infrastructure alone. That doesn't count damage to businesses.”

One such business was Dewey’s Restaurant and Bar.

"I got a call about 9:30 of mass water coming through the back wall of our business," Dewey's co-owner Michael Miller said.

He and his staff are now working as hard as they can to clean up.

“There was about six inches of mud throughout the entire restaurant, which is about 6,500 square feet,” Miller said.

Dewey’s was hit harder than most because they also had structural damage. When the water came through, the back wall of the building collapsed under the weight of water and mud, bringing nearly two feet of water into their business.

“We've got to assess everything once we cut into the wall, find out what that damage is. We can get it back together pretty quickly,” Miller said. “It just depends if we have mold issues and we have to take all the drywall out... It could go from two weeks to eight weeks really quick.”

Around the corner from Dewey’s is Rob Daye’s apartment complex. He is the landlord of units on the corner of 100 South and Main Street.

“I got a call from the tenant that lives downstairs, and he told me the windows had pushed out and it was flooded," Daye said. "I asked him how much water was down there; he said about three inches.”

Now he is working to try to fix the damage. Two water heaters and many things inside the apartment were a total loss, and the other damage is still far from being fixed.

“It was pretty devastating," he said.

These are just some of the stories from the Moab flash flooding, and they illustrate why the town is in need.

“We're working with our congressional delegation, with the governor, to try to make sure we can get the help that we need from the state and the federal government," Langianeseis said.

But despite the damage, the mayor said she hopes the damage doesn't turn anyone away from the tourism and outdoor recreation hotspot.

“We want our visitors to come," she said. "Just be prepared its a little messy right now.”

“We really feel like our state needs to understand how this impacted us and how it's going to impact us for a long, long time," Langianeseis added. "We need to get it out there. People need to know.”