Flood causes car to plunge into river in Utah



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PANGUITCH, Utah (AP) — Heavy rain swamped much of Utah over the weekend, shutting down a sewage treatment plant, damaging homes and causing a moving car to plunge into a river.

In southern Utah, a man and woman from Italy were returning to their Kodachrome Basin State Park campsite on Saturday night when the ground under the pavement gave way due to heavy flooding and sent their car into the Paria River, Garfield County sheriff's deputies said.

The car came to a rest upside-down about 150 yards downstream in the middle of the river and Sussana Dursi, 47, and Roberto Bellocci, 62, had to be rescued by watercraft. Their hometown was not immediately released.

Both suffered extreme hypothermia and were taken to the hospital, where they are expected to make a full recovery, sheriff's spokeswoman Cheryl Church said.

"They were able to escape soaking wet and covered in mud through the broken back window and climb on top of the upturned car," Church said in a statement.

The erosion of the ground under the road occurred immediately after they had crossed a bridge over the river, she said, and left a gaping hole adjacent to the bridge.

In central Utah, flooding shut down a sewage treatment plant and damaged at least 24 homes in Carbon County.

The county and the town of Wellington declared a state of emergency due to widespread flooding after severe thunderstorms Saturday, sheriff's Chief Deputy Tom Stefanoff told KSL.

The sewage treatment plant was shut down after it became inundated in 4 feet of water and leaked into the Price River on Sunday.

In northern Utah, 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.

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The Associated Press

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