Cedar City community helps flood victims with donations, support

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CEDAR CITY — Generous community members in Cedar City made sure flood victims had food, clothing, shelter, and toiletries on Wednesday.

The Red Cross opened an emergency shelter inside a stake center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 61 N. 900 West in Cedar City. It's open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The executive director of the American Red Cross for northern Utah and southwest Wyoming estimated 100 homes were damaged in Monday's storm. Two hundred people were displaced — 100 of them being Southern Utah University students who were living off-campus.

The storm dropped more than 2 inches of rain in an hour, causing flooding in some areas of the city.

A collection of Utah County cities also sent 25,000 sandbags to Cedar City on Thursday.

Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards called Vineyard Mayor Julie Fullmer Wednesday asking for sandbags and the cities of Vineyard, Lehi, American Fork, Lindon, Provo, Orem, Spanish Fork, Pleasant Grove, Mapleton and Utah County all donated to the cause, as well as Draper in Salt Lake County, said Kathryn Newman, executive assistant of Vineyard.

"Our hearts are with all those affected by the floods," she said, adding that an additional 25,000 sandbags were being sent to Moab.

SUU classmates like Noa Taetafa dropped everything to help, filling dumpsters with debris and clearing flooded apartments.

"My best friends that I used to room with have been flooded out. So, the last two days we have been moving them out, moving them out of the live-in basement apartments," said Taeatafa.

University officials said nearly half of the 100 displaced students lost everything.

"Probably 30-40 of them, it's a complete loss as they were in basement apartments that flooded 8 feet deep worth of water," said Jared Tippets, vice president of student affairs at SUU.

In addition to supplies, displaced students have help with housing. The university said about 25 students are staying on campus. However, the dorms will only be available temporarily.

"They'll be there until we can work with the landlords to get them back into their current space. We of course have school starting in the fall and so we will have to move them out (for incoming students)," Tippets said.

He added that community members are stepping up, with some offering to house students.

"It's cool that we were able to get the small town of Cedar City to mobilize so quickly. … It's cool to be a part of a community that cares," Taeatafa said.

The Red Cross said it has plenty of food and supplies, but monetary donations are welcomed. You can also donate directly to SUU's T-Bird Strong Fund.

Cedar City officials continue to assess damages from this week's flooding. Those affected are asked to submit their information online.


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