Cedar City braces for more rain as it recovers from flash floods

Sandbags protected homes and businesses from the floods on Monday.

(Cinder Player | Special to The Tribune) Heavy rains flooded the ground floor of an apartment building, affecting Cedar City and the surrounding area on Monday, July 28, 2021.

Cedar City • After seeing the streets fill as deep as a river, Dylan Folks, 18, fills sandbags for his community to stay safe during the monsoon season this summer. The National Weather Service is forecasting more heavy rain on Friday after a massive storm on Monday required a declaration of emergency for the city and the rest of Iron County.

“I’m pretty sure there will be another storm on Friday,” said Folks. “Everyone has sandbags. I think we’re pretty prepared now. “

People live in a neighborhood where the water was up to three to nine feet deep, and some citizens here have had to be evacuated to the Red Cross emergency shelter near downtown.

The cellars of some houses were flooded or damaged by mudslides. Water was still being sucked from the basements of houses on Cross Hallow Road on Wednesday. “We’re kind of strange times,” added Folks, who and his family have filled sacks at the Cedar City Public Works building, one of two places where people can make sandbags to help mitigate flooding.

On the campus of Southern Utah University, about 100 students had to vacate their off-campus apartments and are now seeking refuge in SUU dormitories, says Heather Ogden, dean of student and student affairs.

(Cinder Player | Special to The Tribune) Heavy rains caused flooding on Monday, July 28, 2021, affecting Cedar City and the surrounding area.

“On Monday night I was out in the University West Complex where students were helping them rescue some of their belongings,” Ogden said. “The students on the first floor lost everything in their apartment. So it was devastating. “

Ogden added that the university also offers case management resources for students who have mental and health needs. On behalf of the student body, Ogden is grateful for the community’s efforts, particularly the university’s soccer and gymnastics teams who have filled over 1,600 sandbags for the community.

For those who would like to help SUU students with any kind of support, donations are accepted through the T-Bird Strong Fund.

Cedar City Mayor Maile Edwards says the city continues to employ emergency teams to assess the infrastructure and the damage caused by the floods. She says preliminary reports from Monday’s flood suggest it rained about two inches for the first hour of the storm.

“There were different floods at different times. This one was different from some of the others we’ve seen, ”said Edwards, adding that climate change is also a factor, especially when the soil is dry and hard. All of this, she says, caused the flash flood. She encourages the public to take precautionary measures, e.g. B. Finding time to make sandbags. Both the city and county set up storm FEMA reporting systems for citizens affected by the recent storm in need of disaster relief.

One of those citizens grateful for the relief is Katie Miller, whose basement on Cross Hallow Road was filled with water. She estimates that she and her husband will likely pay thousands to repair their yard and basement, which was vacuumed Wednesday afternoon.

“People brought clothes and shoes and gave us beds and bedding,” Miller said, adding, “It was a crazy, really emotional, amazing experience” with the community’s donations and relief efforts.

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