Many residents of the Diamond Valley area, about 12 miles north of St. George, spent Monday night and early Tuesday trying to protect their homes from rampaging water in normally dry washes.
Basements in about four or five homes were flooded, and flooding occurred around another five homes. Many people spent the night trying to protect their property, an official of the Washington County Civil Defense office reported. Considerable damage resulted, "but I'd hate to put a dollar figure on it," said Dean Cox, director of county emergency services, who reported that county road crews were working Tuesday morning to repair a road completely washed out by the flash flood.
Diamond Valley residents lost telephone service, and water pressure was cut by half, Cox said.
"I think their water line is damaged from the heavy rains," said Cox, who was working in the area until 4 a.m. Tuesday. He had planned to return to the Diamond Valley again Tuesday morning.
William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, said damage from the storm, which left 0.76 of an inch of rain overnight at the St. George Airport and 1.30 inches at the Tenneco Mines area of Pine Valley (located farther north and west from Diamond Valley), resulted from a number of factors. They include soils saturated by storms in February, heavy rain on the snowpack and tumbleweeds trapped in dry washes and cul-verts.
Alder quoted a mine worker saying that streams coming out of the Pine Valley Mountain area were full Tuesday morning. Cox said it rained heavily between 10 and 11 p.m. Monday. A lot of snow had already melted in the mountains, but "there was enough snow on the ground in the mountains to compound the flooding. I'm sure the rain itself was not solely responsible for the problem," Cox said.
Alder said more unsettled weather is on tap for Utah with possibly another round of rain and snow in southern Utah the latter part of the week. Rain showers were expected to develop by Tuesday afternoon in northern Utah. Temperatures will be in the mid-50s Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Other areas of southern Utah reported considerable moisture Monday night and early Tuesday. Duck Creek, Kane County, 1.24 inches of water in the snow; Brian Head, 1.07 inches; Bryce Canyon, 1.10 inches; the Kolob area, located northeast of St. George, 1.10; and Cedar City, 0.35 inches of rain.