Flash floods in the western state of Utah killed at least 16 people including a devastating death of a 10 year old boy. The floods ripped through the city of Hildale, Utah on Monday night at the Arizona border.
“A roaring river, just a wall of mud and debris, ripping up trees,” Pamela Black, 63, told New York Times. “We knew it would flood, because it always does when there’s a downpour, but never anything like this.”
The victims were mainly women and children who were trying to drive over a gully in Hildale when their cars were swept away. Apart from these there were four deaths of hikers reported at the Zion National Park.
“I join with other Utahns in mourning today the lives lost in two tragic incidents at Zion National Park and Hildale,” Gov. Gary R. Herbert said a statement, noted the ABC News. “Jeanette and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.”
The names of the dead were not released instantly but residents claimed that the victims were members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The vehicles and some of the bodies were not found until Tuesday because the force of the water had carried them miles away to Arizona.
Flash flood warnings were issued in Hildale in the National Weather Service on Monday, but probably residents may not have seen them or might have ignored it.
According to a Facebook post by the Utah Division of Emergency Management, heavy rains caused the flash floods in Hildale, south of Salt Lake City, at around 5 p.m., Monday.
“In the flash flooding two occupied vehicles were hit by a large wall of water and debris at the Canyon Street Maxwell Crossing and were carried into the Flood. There were 16 people with the vehicles who were washed downstream by the flooding.”