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Flash Flood Warning Issued

Flash Flood Warning Issued

Posted - Oct. 20, 2004 at 2:18 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A steady stream of rain and snow fell across Utah Wednesday, prompting flood watches and keeping residents living near burnt hillsides on the watch for mudslides.

A flood watch was issued for the Virgin River in the southern part of the state. The northern Utah mountains, meanwhile, were forecast to receive up to three feet of snow as the valley floor aborbed persistent rains.

The rainfall amount in Salt Lake City, nearly three-quarters of an inch by late afternoon Wednesday, had broken a daily record of 0.67 set in 1949.

"It's probably going to continue on for the next 36 hours, maybe not quite as heavy as it's been but there's another front coming," said Chris Young, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.

Sensors placed in a hillside above Farmington after it burned in 2003 were being carefully monitored, according to Pete Wilensky, a lead NWS forecaster. In April, a mudslide in the area damaged two homes.

"We're hoping that the burn area can take the rainfall that it's gotten so far," Wilensky said.

The hillside above Farmington, about 15 miles north of Salt Lake City, as well as the Utah County cities of Springville and Santaquin and an area up Spanish Fork canyon were all included in the burn area flash flood watch.

The Virgin River in Washington County was expected to crest at or above flood stage by Thursday afternoon, Wilensky said. Flash flood watches were issued for Washington, Iron, Garfield and Kane Counties lasting until noon Thursday, he said.

In the northern Utah mountains, between one and three feet of snow had fallen by Wednesday afternoon and conditions weren't expected to change anytime soon. Alta, for instance, had received 30 inches.

"Thursday will be another day similar to today. Friday will be cold in the morning with maybe even some snow on the valley floor," Young said.

More precipitation is possible next week.

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

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