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Alex Cabrero ReportingYesterday destructive floods struck extreme southwestern Utah. Today a massive cleanup effort began.
When the water started pouring down yesterday afternoon, it washed out two culverts and a road and headed straight into Gunlock.
The Santa Clara River burst through the culverts near Smith's ranch, buckled the road it went over, and headed for his home. Three feet of mud and water ended up inside. Farther south in Gunlock, the water went into several homes, leaving a big mess and a bigger cleanup.
This flood reminds a lot of people of the flood two years ago. After that one, a rock wall was built. Ed Bowler says, "It really saved the day." Water went over it yesterday but not enough to flood the whole town.
Bowler says, "Without that, it would've cut back into town, and it would've taken a lot more of the homes that were in the bottoms."
Farther east, Virgin was also flooded and homes were taken away when the water rushed through.
Virgin resident Jeff Myers told KSL, "My brothers were stuck outside, hanging onto a metal fence until Search and Rescue came."
Nearby, the Zions River resort was evacuated, just in time. Fifteen minutes later, it was under water.
The damage will take months, maybe longer, to fix. Smith says there's no way he's going anywhere else, though. "Nowhere on the earth do you have a higher quality of life than right here, except for days like today," he says.
There were no deaths and no injuries reported.
The road going into Gunlock will have to be replaced.