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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flooding Causes Evacuations, Road Closure Near St. George

Heavy ran fell in the St. George area today and caused a retention pond dam to break. The resulting flood inundated a neighborhood in the town of Santa Clara. Some 25 homes and a dozen businesses have been damaged and residents have been evacuated.

Santa Clara Drive is closed near Lava Flow Drive while crews clean up the mess. Hwy 8 (Old US Hwy 91) becomes Santa Clara Drive in that community. It is the major access route to communities west of Santa Clara, and to recreation areas west of town.

At this writing it is not know how long the highway will be closed, but it probably will not be long. It will certainly be reopened within a day or two.

The southern portion of Utah has received significant rain during the past several days. Flood watches have been posted in several areas. People are advised to stay out of narrow canyons in Zion Park and other areas until this weather pattern breaks. Weather reports and flood potential information is posted at the mouth of the Narrows and in some other areas. If you have questions, inquire at visitor centers before starting hikes.

In 2005, a massive flood came down the Santa Clara River destroyed 34 homes. Since then a tremendous amount of work has been done to minimize flood danger in the area. Today's flood is not nearly as severe as that flood-of-a-lifetime.

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