Cedar City Police responded to various calls including debris in the roads, missing manhole covers and flooded homes. Approximately 30 homes were reported as being flooded from the rains. There was also reports of water running through Center Street like a river.
The new director over the Iron County Ambulance Department, Iron County Sheriff Deputy, Lieutenant Jody Edwards said, they responded to three accidents Saturday, all of them due to hydroplaning.
“You’ve got to slow down in weather like that,” he said.
The National Weather Service reported Saturday that the Cedar City airport recorded 2.25 inches of rain, with 2 inches of it in the first 45 minutes. It broke the 2.1 inches recorded in September 1967, setting an an all-time, one-day record for Cedar City.
As it became apparent that the rains were coming down faster than the system could respond Edwards said, the county and city mobilized quickly Saturday to deal with the crisis.
“This type of weather is very typical for our area but this was way more than we could handle. We can handle 2 inches of rain in two hours but when it's two inches in 45 minutes it overloads the system,” Edwards said.
Rocky Mountain Power reported as many as 5,700 Cedar City homes and businesses were without power Saturday afternoon. By 8 p.m., that number dropped to around 2,900, with many remaining without power until shortly after 10 p.m.
The rain stopped about 8p.m. but the weather service issued a flash flood watch through late Saturday night as thunderstorm conditions continued. Forecasters also issued a flash flood warning for Cedar City and surrounding areas, meaning flooding was either imminent or had already happened. The weather service warned torrential rains could overwhelm local drainages and damage homes in low-lying areas.
The heavy rains may have also caused the roof of MetalCraft Technology on Aviation Way to collapse. No injuries were reported, but Cedar City Fire Department crews were called to the scene to shut off a broken gas line in the building.
Forecasters predict a 60 percent chance of precipitation through Sunday evening. The likelihood of continued rain and flooding prompted the weather service to leave a hazardous weather outlook in place through tonight. The outlook warns that heavy rain could hit southern and eastern Utah and may reach northern parts of the state.
Iron County Sheriff’s Office and the Iron County Search and Rescue are already planning ahead for possible floods again today. If volunteers would like to assist in filling sandbags and fulfilling potential orders this afternoon, they need to go to 1542 Kitty Hawk Dr. where the two agencies are currently working.
Video taken by Iron County Commissioner Dave Miller. Used with permission.