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Debris flow spotted near Spring Lake, Bald Mountain Fire reaches complete containment

By Ashley Stilson And Katie England daily Herald - | Oct 3, 2018
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A John Deere 544K-II wheel loader dumps debris into a truck on 3620 West on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. The debris was moved into the street by the rains from storm that took place overnight.

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Richard Jaussi, of Provo, stands near a home belonging to his in-laws Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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A John Deere 544K-II wheel loader clears debris off of 3620 West on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake.

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The Strawberry High Line Canal is pictured on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake.

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A layer of mud and debris covers the water in the Strawberry High Line Canal on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake.

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A John Deere 544K-II wheel loader clears debris off of 3620 W. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake.

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A John Deere 544K-II wheel loader clears debris off of 3620 W. As a truck waits to be filled with the mud and rocks on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake.

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Mud flowing into the Strawberry High Line Canal is pictured on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake.

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Daniel Turner, a specialist with the Utah Army National Guard, cleans his muddy boots with a stick Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Steve Brenchley, a lieutenant colonel with the Utah Army National Guard, stands in front of a closed road Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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A vehicle drives through standing water Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Members of the Utah National Guard walk out of an area affected by mudslides Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Dale Koyle, a VIPS volunteer with the Utah County Sheriff's Office, talks with a motorist Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Colton Broadhead, a staff sergeant with the Utah Army National Guard, cleans his muddy boots with a stick Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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A Utah National Guard vehicle drives out of an area affected by mudslides Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Dave Sanchez stands on sandbags near his home Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

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Dave Sanchez and his wife, Carol, walk away from their home and toward their car Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Spring Lake. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office reported debris flows brought mud but no damage to homes in Payson near Spring Lake early Wednesday morning.

Areas throughout Utah County received between 0.29 inches and 0.55 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

The debris flow split around one home near 3620 W. 12680 South in Payson, and the residents chose to stay at the home. There has been no apparent damage so far, but two homes nearby chose to evacuate Wednesday morning.

Officials also reported the Highline Canal filled with more than four feet of mud during thunderstorms Tuesday evening.

Payson Fire Rescue also posted trained and equipped swift water rescue firefighters from Lehi, Lone Peak, Saratoga Springs and North Fork departments at the Payson fire station.

“The additional specialized resources are in case of any need for rescue or response to flooding in the South Utah County area,” according to a Facebook post from Payson Fire Rescue.

Utah County was under a flood watch through Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service Office in Salt Lake City.

Thunderstorms were predicted Wednesday morning and afternoon, with increased rain in the evening and through the night from scattered storms.

“Periods of heavy rain will be possible, especially from the stronger thunderstorms,” the report stated.

Across Utah County, there was a 50 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms throughout Wednesday and an 80 percent chance of rain that evening, the weather service predicted. Thursday also has a 70 percent chance of rain, though skies should clear up by Friday with a 20 percent slight chance of scattered storms.

Flash floods are possible near burn scars, slot canyons, steep terrain and urban areas with poor drainage, the report states.

The Bald Mountain Fire reached 100 percent containment by Wednesday morning, according to a report from fire officials. The wildfire is at 18,620 acres, and suppression repair is at 50 percent completion.

At the Pole Creek Fire, crews and helicopters worked on lines near the Covered Bridge area and areas east of Spanish Fork Peak, the report stated. The fire was 87 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, reaching 102,231 acres.

Utah County Health Department also lifted a wildfire smoke advisory that had been in place since Sept. 14.

Gov. Gary Herbert activated the Utah National Guard on Monday to respond to any potential flooding from the thunderstorms. Nearby cities like Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills stacked hundreds of thousands of sandbags earlier in the week to direct floodwaters away from homes and roads.

Herbert also issued an executive order declaring Utah a state of emergency due to potential flooding Tuesday evening.

The order states that flooding and debris flow from the storms could cause imminent threats to public safety and could cause road closures or damage to bridge or infrastructures.

The Utah Division of Emergency Management also activated the State Emergency Operations Center and deployed the Utah National Guard and the Utah Department of Transportation to potentially impacted areas, the declaration stated.

Woodland Hills Mayor Wendy Pray told city residents to secure their homes against potential flooding. Burn scars mean that water flows can be unpredictable, making water flow places where it previously hadn’t been a danger before, she added at a community meeting on Tuesday evening.

Residents are encouraged to seek high ground and stay put if they see a dangerous situation, as well as stay in contact with one another and stay aware of potential alerts.

These are the rainfall totals for areas throughout Utah County as of 6 a.m. according to the National Weather Service. 

Spanish Fork: 0.55 inches

Provo: 0.48 inches

Saratoga Springs: 0.45 inches

Lehi: 0.44 inches

Orem: 0.41 inches

Payson: 0.37 inches

Cedar Hills: 0.36 inches

Tickville: 0.36 inches

American Fork: 0.34 inches

Santaquin: 0.32 inches

Pleasant Grove: 0.32 inches

Provo Municipal Airport: 0.29 inches

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