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One year since devastating Moab floods

Posted at 9:54 PM, Aug 21, 2023

MOAB, Utah — This week marks one year since devastating flash floods hit Moab, costing the city millions of dollars in infrastructure alone.

Local businesses were given grants from the city to help them recover in time for tourist season.

Now one year later, businesses and campsites that were once underwater can’t believe where they were this time last year.

“It’s a cloudy day out there today,” said Scott Griffiths. “Every time the sky gets a little bit dark it definitely goes through our heads.”

Griffiths was serving at Dewey’s Restaurant and Bar when within minutes, there was two feet of floodwater.

“That day will stick in my memory probably forever. Anytime the gutters get full, you start thinking about the river coming through Dewey’s Restaurant,” he said.

The restaurant was closed for nearly two weeks so the community could clean up the mud and muck. The back wall of the building had also collapsed under the weight of the water.

“We had football teams in here shoveling mud. There were servers from other restaurants, managers from other restaurants came over and actually helped us,” said Griffiths.

At Up the Creek Campground, campers were wading through waist-deep water. The camp’s new managers, David Wilson and Kirsten Peterson, said the campground is now cut down to half its original size to make safe room for the floodplain.

“Last year really woke us up,” said Peterson.

Moab’s tourism industry is happy to see the city back to business as usual, but they’ll never forget the lessons learned from August 2022.

“It was quite frightening to see it but at the same time it was interesting to see how many people stepped up to help everyone,” said Wilson.