Flash Flooding Wreaked Havoc From Georgia to Utah Over the Weekend

(The Washington Post) -

Flash flooding has been rampant across the United States since the spring, and it continued over the weekend in several states from the Southeast to the Mountain West.

Two men in a vehicle got caught up in a flash flood Saturday evening in Bonne Terre, Missouri, south of St. Louis. As much as four inches of rain had fallen in the area, causing several creeks to overflow.

When emergency officials arrived, the car was already downstream. One man had already made it to dry land, but the other was still in the flood, hanging on to a tree branch for at least an hour, the Daily Journal Online of Park Hills, Missouri, reported. The Big River Bonne Terre fire chief said the man didn’t have injuries, but he was exhausted from having to hang on for so long.

“There wasn’t just an open stream. There were logs, trees and undercurrents making it very dangerous,” fire chief David Pratte told the Daily Journal. “The water was extremely high, swift and fast.”

Nine miles southeast, first responders rescued a woman who drove into the flood and was locked in her car after water shorted the vehicle’s electronics, the Daily Journal reported.

Butler is a moving river right now.

In Georgia, flash flooding prompted officials to evacuate an apartment complex in Jonesboro, a suburb of Atlanta, Saturday. Several inches of rain fell over the course of just a few hours, overwhelming streams and rivers. Jester Creek, which runs alongside the Park at Mt. Zion Apartments, rose well beyond its banks. The storm flooded cars in the parking lots and the first floors of several buildings, according to WSB-TV.

“When I looked out the window, it was water rushing. I mean it was rushing, like we were by a river,” resident Regina Wiggins told WSB-TV.

In Colorado, torrential rain caused landslides and road closures when a creek west of Pueblo overflowed. In the Flagstaff, Arizona, area, flooding was bad enough on Sunday that the American Red Cross opened a shelter at a middle school for families affected. In Richfield, Utah, storms flooded 260 acres of Kirk Harris’ 320-acre farm on Sunday. Harris estimates he lost around a million dollars, he told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City.

“Probably more water I’ve seen come out of that canyon in the 50 years that I’ve been alive,” Harris told Fox 13. “When you get to a point where you kind of realize there’s no hope, you just try to protect and salvage anything that you can.”