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Sun still shining as Utah County waits for predicted rain, possible flooding

October 2, 2018

After spending the last two days frantically preparing for predicted rain and possible flooding, Utah County woke up to sunshine Tuesday morning.

Despite the deceptively blue skies, the county is still under a flash flood watch until Wednesday at 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The flash flood watch is in effect across much of central and northern Utah and southwest Wyoming, including the Wasatch Front.

“Moisture will surge north into central and northern Utah beginning Tuesday in advance of Tropical Storm Rosa, allowing for scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms which will be heavy at times,” according to the NWS website.

This creates particular worry near large burn scars, such as were recently left by the massive Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires, which burned a combined 120,808 acres.

The communities of Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge, which were evacuated for several days when the fires drew close to city boundaries, now find themselves at high risk for flooding.

“Flash flooding is possible near burn scars, steep terrain and urban areas with poor drainage,” according to the NWS. “Streams and rivers will be running fast and high by mid week. Travel may be impacted by mid week due to debris flows from burn scars and potential urban flooding.”

There is a 90 percent chance of rain in Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge throughout the day, and 90 percent chance Tuesday night.

Rain is expected to continue throughout the rest of the week, with 50 to 60 percent chances Wednesday, and a 70 percent chance Thursday.

Gov. Gary Herbert activated the Utah National Guard Monday to respond in case of flooding, and cities filled and stacked thousands upon thousands of sandbags to direct potential floodwaters away from homes.

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