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Local State of Emergency declared as St. George cleans up flash flooding aftermath

Posted at 4:26 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 19:23:34-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A local State of Emergency has been declared in St. George after significant rainfall caused flash flooding Sunday night.

Damage includes multiple sinkholes, including one that swallowed a car in the Ramada Inn parking lot. Power lines were also downed, roads were covered in water and debris, and cars stalled in the floodwater covering local roads. Many streets were closed, but as of Monday afternoon they have all been cleared and reopened except for Red Hills Parkway.

“This hit so quickly and hit so hard,” said Mayor Jon Pike.

Gov. Gary Herbert made an emergency trip to St. George Monday to see the destruction firsthand.

“We see, once again, the power of mother nature,” Herbert said.

After nearly a month without rain, the massive storm dumped up to two inches in 90 minutes and turned roads into rivers.

While watching the rain, lightning struck too close for Tamra Stephenson.

“An indirect zap up my leg. Mostly right here on the side which I can still feel,” said Stephenson on a Facebook video.

St. George Police said dispatch received 600 calls to 911 during the storm. Overwhelmed police urged people not to call unless it was a life-threatening emergency.

“Most of this seems located in the central part of St. George and we will continue to assess and do the best we can to make quick repairs,” said Mayor Jon Pike.

The repairs to public infrastructure are estimated to cost a half-million dollars. About 15 to 20 homes were flooded.

No one was killed or seriously hurt.