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Deluge knocks out power, floods some Davis homes

SHARE Deluge knocks out power, floods some Davis homes

Davis County residents were digging out Tuesday after heavy rains sent mud and water pouring into their homes.

A large portion of Utah received rain Monday evening as two storms — one originating in Kane County and one in Millard County — traveled north.

The storm that originated in Kane County began about 4 p.m. and moved northwest though northeastern Washington and Iron counties, National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Toronto said. A flash-flood warning was issued at 5:45 p.m. for Cedar Canyon, between Cedar City and Cedar Breaks National Monument and was lifted at 7:30 p.m., Toronto said. A radar reading showed 1 to 2 inches of rain fell east of Cedar City, Toronto said.

The storm that originated in Millard County began at 5 p.m. and developed into a larger storm as it traveled northwest. It reached the Salt Lake City International Airport about 8:25 p.m., Toronto said.

Davis County was hit hardest by the storm, Toronto said. Centerville reported 2 inches of rain. The weather service received calls of flooding in East Layton homes, he said.

In Weber County, Monday night's cloudburst began about 9:25 p.m. and by 9:45 the Gridley home on Eastwood Boulevard had a basement full of water.

"The window blew in and the water was to the top of the window," said Jack Gridley, who, with his family, has lived in the home at 2208 Eastwood Blvd. for the past 40 years.

While the flood was taking place, his wife, Nancy, yelled that the dam had burst, meaning that water was pouring into the home.

On Tuesday, the Gridleys spread towels at the top of their front stairs and placed small throw rugs across the living room floor in an attempt to hold back the field of mud that now surrounded their home. Sandbags were shaped into walls at strategic locations, a work of an estimated 200 volunteers who rushed to help them cope.

Their area is in a depression and recent building has stripped nearby hillsides of their normal ability to absorb cloudbursts. A woman in the neighborhood who did not want to be identified, angrily said, "I think that they should fix the drain. I think its ridiculous that it should happen. I pay taxes and I deserve more than this."

At the Gridley home, Jack Gridley said every time a big rainstorm hits, the home is in danger of flooding because of poor drainage.

During the storm, he grabbed a piece of wood and went into the window well in an attempt to protect the window. Water quickly reached his chest level and a neighbor said if he had stayed there and the board broke, he would be slammed into the basement with the flood.

Eventually, the basement window broke, flooding woodworking tools he has collected over 20 years and submerging every other thing in the basement.

He estimated the flood caused about $15,000 in damage. "Oh, at least," said Nancy Gridley.

He called the Weber County Emergency Management department and an official there contacted local LDS wards, "And then all the wards were coming out to help," he said. Many of the people who assisted were youngsters who helped fill sandbags and place them around the house.

Meanwhile, the road outside was a river and their back yard and other backyards had disappeared under water.

Garrett Gridley, 14, said the first he knew of the flood was when he looked out his window. "I saw a garbage can floating down the street." He raced downstairs and helped his dad keep water out of the living room, shoving towels under the door.

"Cars kept trying to drive through and the wave action broke through the garage door," Jack Gridley said.

Shea Gridley, 16, said some sightseers kept driving by, "One truck went through it six times because he thought it was fun." Another vehicle stalled in front of the house and had to be towed Tuesday.

To prevent further wave damage, the nearby fire department blocked one end of the street and Jack Gridley blocked the other with his truck to keep cars away.

At nearby Uintah Elementary School, principal Maurine Newton said the playground flooded, but "the building was fine." The grass needed watering anyway, she said.

In East Layton, Pollard Paving had put down a base of gravel material for a private drive it was building. Neal Pollard said the storm washed away most of the gravel base. "We had to go find most of it, pick it up, haul it back up the hill and replace what we couldn't find."

Ironically, he said, the same thing had happened over the past weekend.

With the rain were high winds, the highest measured was 53 mph at the airport at 8:46 p.m., Toronto said. By 11 p.m., the storm was in the south end of Cache County and appeared to be dissipating, he said.

From 8 to 9 p.m. about 4,200 customers in Tooele County lost their power, Utah Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen said. At 10 p.m., crews in Salt Lake City worked to restore power to about 4,900 customers between South Temple to 1800 South and 700 East to 1400 East, he said. Both outages were storm-related.

There were other scattered outages throughout the state, many of them caused by wind arcing power lines, Eskelsen said.

Dispatchers in Davis County said officers were busy with flooding on streets and in houses. Lagoon Drive in Farmington was closed temporarily because it was flooded. North of Salt Lake City, stretches of I-15 and U.S. 89 reportedly had a visibility of about just a few feet. Lots of debris were found Tuesday in most subdivisions along U.S. 89 in south Davis County.

Spokesmen for the Salt Lake and West Valley fire departments said Monday night they hadn't heard reports of any major damage.

But in West Jordan, several homes in the Oquirrh Shadows subdivision, near 5000 West and 7200 South, were flooded with up to 2 feet of water in basements, Salt Lake County Fire Capt. Jay Zilokowski said.

"We didn't really respond on downed power lines or (downed) trees," Zilokowski said. "I don't know if the other storm (on June 12) took care of all the trees for us, but we've managed this storm quite well."

E-MAIL: lhancock@desnews.com ; bau@desnews.com