Thunderstorms rock and roll across most of the state

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Waves of storm water roared down the roads of several Utah towns Monday as thunderstorms rocked across the state.

After three weeks without any rain, many of our communities were hammered with with lightning, wind, hail and plenty of water. One central Utah town already frustrated by a lingering wildfire, has a lot of flood damage and new worries now.

In southeastern Utah County, Birdseye suffered a heavy flash flood from a deluge around 5 p.m. Witnesses say they heard the initial wave of water rumbling down the mountainside just before it flowed through their neighborhood with rocks, trees and rattlesnakes as debris.

The residents say the flooding was intensified because of the Lake Fork wildfire that started in the first week of July. Fire bosses let that one burn to reduce the buildup of fuels.

Ranchers and residents were upset initially by the loss of rangeland to that fire. Now homeowners, like Wayne Fish in the Eagle's Landing area, are upset. The rain washed off the burn scar and wiped out a half-acre of his landscaped yard and another in the neighborhood. The road in their neighborhood is now impassible.

In Huntington, a torrent washed down the middle of the street around 4:20 p.m., filling the sidewalks and storm drains. Dime- and quarter-sized hail stones hammered Huntington too.

Along much of the Wasatch Front, rain swamped sidewalks and roads. People who started the day under sunny skies with no umbrella in their thoughts were soaked to the skin in seconds. Communities saw anywhere from one-tenth of an inch of rain to three-quarters of an inch.

The National Weather Service posted a hazardous weather outlook Monday for the entire state. KSL 5 Meteorologist Grant Weyman says that's because a storm is basically parking over us for a while.

"Within the entire state, there's gonna be a number of thunderstorms today, tomorrow and Wednesday," Grant said. "Some of them are going to be on the strong side, so you just have to play it safe like you would with any storm."

In Tooele County fierce winds gusting up to 65 miles per hour blew a semi onto its side on Interstate-80 near Grantsville. State Troopers say it was nearly empty and a microburst flipped it on its side.

Luckily, no one was injured. Troopers shut down one lane of the freeway for several hours.

Most of those storms moved off as quickly as they arrived. We did not hear about widespread damage in any one community.


Story compiled with contributions from Jed Boal and Marc Giauque.


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