Flash flood covers in U.S. 89 in mud and debris, closing road

Jul 27, 2019, 9:55 AM | Updated: 8:07 pm
The Utah Department of Transportation temporarily closed U.S. 89 due to flash flooding. (Utah Highw...
The Utah Department of Transportation temporarily closed U.S. 89 due to flash flooding. (Utah Highway Patrol)
(Utah Highway Patrol)

BIRDSEYE, Utah County — Crews are working to repair a section of U.S. 89 that was inundated with a flash flood Friday evening. A Saturday update from UDOT stated that U.S. 89 would remained closed until 6 a.m. on Monday.

The flash flood hit the highway at about 5 p.m., leaving rock and mud covering the road.

Heavy rain hit the same area burned by the Pole Creek fire last year. The burn scar increased the chances of flooding and mud slides.

Crews are working to repair U.S. 89 after a flash flood forced the road’s closure on Friday. (Photo: Utah Highway Patrol)

The Utah Highway Patrol said the flood left two-feet of water in some spots.

Officials closed the highway in both directions. The closure stretched between Thistle and Birdseye, UDOT said.

Previously, UDOT said the road would stay closed for an “undetermined amount of time.”

The muddy conditions trapped about 30 cars on U.S. 89, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street. There are no reported injuries and everybody has since been accounted for, Sgt. Street said.

Only three of the affected cars need to be towed.

The National Weather Service said about 1.5 inches of rain fell within 45 minutes in the Birdseye area.

A flash flood on U.S. 89 created problems for drivers on Friday, July 26, 2019.

A driver on U.S. 89 says there was two to three feet of mud and debris on the road. He says they “barely escaped with our lives.” The driver, Cade Stevens, shared a video of his experience on Twitter.

The National Weather Service has advised drivers to avoid flooded roads like U.S 89. The NWS warns, “if a debris flow has occurred it is important to realize that the runout area remains very dangerous.”

Sgt. Spencer Cannon warns against attempting to drive through significant mud and debris flows like others have tried to do this weekend.

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Flash flood covers in U.S. 89 in mud and debris, closing road