Dozens of stranded partiers rescued in Utah desert

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TOOELE, Utah (AP) — Dozens of young people attending an outdoor party in the Utah high desert were rescued early Saturday after heavy rain left them stranded in mud.

An estimated 100 people gathered for the party and bonfire late Friday at Lone Rock in Tooele County, about 50 miles west of Salt Lake City, authorities said.

Some 30 vehicles became stuck in mud after a couple of inches of rain caused party-goers to leave, said Bucky Whitehouse, the county's emergency management director.

Search and rescue teams in four-wheel-drive vehicles and ATVs transported about 40 partiers to school buses for shelter until rides home could be arranged, he said.

Some people were stuck for hours until their vehicles were located by rescuers.

No injuries were reported.

"They're in a variety of conditions. Some are inebriated, and there have been some complications due to lack of sleep and being out in the cold," Whitehouse told KSL (

Andrew Johnson, a University of Utah student, said most of the cars ended up on muddy, impassable roads.

Party-goers had planned to spend the night at Lone Rock, he said, but a fear of flooding caused them to disperse.

"The water was up to our knees when we were walking out," Johnson said.

A private Facebook posting advertised the party, KSL reported.

Officials believe it will be at least until Monday before many of the vehicles can be pulled from the mud.

In southern Utah, roads in Zion National Park were temporarily closed Saturday due to flooding from as much as 2 inches of rain.

The rain sent rocks and mud across portions of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway.


Information from: KSL-TV,

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