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Courtesy of Utah County Sheriff's Office

Utah flooding causes mudslides, evacuations and closes Little Cottonwood Canyon

By Lauren Bennett, KSL.com | Updated - Aug. 8, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. | Posted - Aug. 8, 2019 at 7:44 p.m.


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UPDATE: Three canyon roads remain closed Friday morning as crews work to clear mudslides. State Route 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon is closed with no estimate on when it may reopen, according to the KSL Traffic Center.

U.S. Highway 6 is closed from the U.S. 89 junction near Thistle to just north of Price. And the road through Payson Canyon remains closed.

Also, an Amtrak train bound for California temporarily remains in Salt Lake City due to a track washout between Provo and Helper, according to a tweet from Amtrak. The track is estimated to reopen about 11:30 a.m.


SALT LAKE CITY — Flooding in the Wasatch canyons wreaked havoc Thursday evening and caused two roads to close overnight: state Route 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon and U.S. Highway 6 near Tie Fork Road in Spanish Fork Canyon.

A flash flood warning was issued for southern Utah County until 9:45 p.m., according to National Weather Service Salt Lake City.

Due to mudslides, both directions of state Route 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon, just west of Snowbird, shut down around 9 p.m. and Unified police said it likely wouldn’t reopen before morning.

Some people were stuck in their cars between two of several mudslides in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Unified Police Sgt. Ken Hansen said.

The first objective was to get those people out of the canyon, Hansen said.

The cell service was good in that area and no injuries were reported in the mudslides, Hansen noted.

There was a multitude of slides up the canyon, some big and some small, according to Hansen.

He also said boulders blocked some parts of the road and a few slides were as deep as about 4 feet.

Police said heavy machinery was en route to clear debris from the canyon. UDOT crews were expected to work throughout the night to clear roadways, officials said.

At least one dozen homes in Loafer Canyon were evacuated Thursday about 7:30 p.m. because of a flash flood, officials said.

No injuries were reported as of 7:35 p.m. and officials didn’t have information on property damage yet, according to Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

About 100-200 people were affected by the evacuations, Cannon said.

A mudslide was reported above The Grotto about 7 miles up Payson Canyon, according to Cannon.

Utah Highway Patrol was responding to reports of a mudslide up U.S. Highway 6 near Tie Fork Road in Spanish Fork Canyon, according to Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Due to debris and a crash, both directions west of the Tie Fork Rest Area were closed, according to Utah Department of Transportation. The road was originally expected to open at 9:12 p.m. but officials later said it would remain closed until at least noon on Friday.

Some spots of the road were covered with mud 3 to 5 feet deep, UHP officials said. Crews were also working to free five semitrucks that were stuck in mud.

As soon as conditions cleared up, UHP was going to send its helicopter to survey the area for cars stuck in debris fields, officials said.

U.S. Highway 89 in Birdseye — in the same area that experienced massive flooding July 26 — had about one foot of rocks and mud on the road, but traffic was still able to get through, according to Cannon.

Contributing: Mehul Asher, KSL

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Lauren Bennett

KSL Weather Forecast