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Waist-deep water floods homes, cuts power in Salt Lake

(Chopper 5, Derek Petersen, KSL TV)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Flooding from an early morning storm led to some road closures, TRAX delays, flooded basements and power outages Wednesday morning.

An inch of rain fell in 40 minutes, according to KSL TV meteorologist Dan Guthrie, causing standing water and flooded areas, particularly in the Salt Lake Valley. Several streets turned into rivers.

“The sudden occurrence and intensity of this storm is a 200-year event in Salt Lake City,” said Laura Briefer, Department of Public Utilities director, in a released statement.

The road on 3300 South was closed under I-15 to 500 West for a time, as at least one car got stuck in standing water there. That road reopened around 7:30 a.m.

State Street between 12300 South and 12100 South in Draper was closed but reopened around 8:30 a.m. There were also problems near 900 South and 1300 South, and the 900 South exit from I-15 was temporarily closed.

The Salt Lake City School District reported that flooding has affected buildings at East High School, Highland High School, Emerson Elementary School, and the Salt Lake Center for Science Education. They have canceled all events scheduled at these schools for Wednesday.

A flood advisory for the Salt Lake area was extended through 7:45 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Rain totals showed some areas received up to 2 inches of rain from the overnight storm.

Flooding caused Utah Transit Authority to shut the Ball Park TRAX station to rail and bus use. UTA spokesman Remi Barron told KSL Newsradio storm drains backed up, flooding the area with 1 to 2 feet of water that TRAX trains could not get through.

A bus bridge was in place to get TRAX passengers from Central Point Station to 900 South and between Ball Park and 900 South.

About 100 homes north of the ballpark were affected by floodwaters, according to the Salt Lake City Fire Department. That included basements flooded as streets turned into ponds near 200 South and 1100 West.

Officials also reported flooded basements in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake.

The Salt Lake City Public Library’s Sprague Branch in Sugar House, 2131 S. 1100 East, was hit with several feet of standing water in the lower level of the building from the storm. The library branch will be closed for several months while crews work to repair the damage, officials announced Wednesday afternoon.

Crews have begun cleaning up and assessing the damage, which affected the building, furniture, computers and library collections, said Salt Lake City Public Library Communications Manager Andrew Shaw.

Salt Lake City Public Library Executive Director Peter Bromberg called the library a well-loved and a well-used place for community members to learn, celebrate and grow together in a released statement.

“The losses in this flood aren’t just books and computers, which can and will be replaced, but also the temporary loss of a key gathering place for the people of Salt Lake City,” Bromberg said.

Power outages were reported for more than 5,000 customers along the Wasatch Front, according to Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s Office.

“Our team is fully dedicated to addressing the damage from this storm, and will be on the scene for as long as necessary to provide clean-up and support in the city,” Briefer said.

Scattered showers were expected throughout the day, according to Guthrie. Get a complete forecast on the KSL Weather page. And check commute times on the KSL Traffic page

Salt Lake City residents and business owners dealing with storm damage can contact the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities at 801-483-6700 and press option 1. .

Contributing: Mary Richards and Shara Park

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