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Storm System Drops Heavy Rain in Southern Utah

Storm System Drops Heavy Rain in Southern Utah

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- High winds and heavy rain lashed sections of southern Utah, where the brunt of a significant storm was felt Wednesday.

The National Weather Service said streams and normally dry washes in Washington County were filling up fast. A flash-flood warning was in effect until mid-afternoon.

Wednesday's rain added to overnight downpours, and officials were warning motorists to avoid driving through running washes.

The Brian Head Resort near Cedar City couldn't start up chair lifts Wednesday morning because of wind gusts that reached 70 mph. Resort officials were hoping to reopen later in the day or for night skiing.

"It's one of the three busiest days of the year for us," said Brian Head public-relations director Craig McCarthy, who said about 4,000 visitors were in town for the holidays. The resort draws most of its skiers from Las Vegas.

Brian Head had received 20 inches of new snow by the end of the day. Law enforcement officials had to escort vehicles down the mountain because of the conditions.

In northern Utah, the storm originally forecast to bring several inches to the valleys was expected to leave only up to 2 inches by Thursday morning. Northern Utah ski resorts did see more than a foot of snow with up to 9 inches expected overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Alta Ski Resort had 13 inches of snowfall Wednesday and Park City Mountain Resort had 15.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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