20 Mapleton homes evacuated due to heavy rain, flooding

Photo: Mapleton Police Department

MAPLETON, Utah, July 22, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Residents were evacuated from 20 Mapleton homes Thursday night after brief but heavy rains led to isolated flooding in the area.

The trouble began when a storm passed over the burn areas created by the Ether Hollow Wildfire in September of 2020.

“Fire triggered a warning from the National Weather Service that prompted Mapleton Public Safety to evacuate the homes that are within the Ether Hollow flood area,” says a statement issued 9:15 p.m. Thursday by Mapleton police.

“The area is currently evacuated and residents are at a pre-determined evacuation site. As of now, we are seeing some flow drain out from Quiet Meadow Lane onto the roadway leading toward Bartholomew Park. There is around 6 inches of mud on the roadway thus far.”

The overnight plan was for emergency crews to continue monitoring the Ether Hollow burn scar and the drainages in the area, the statement said.

“As of now there are no injuries or damage to report,” it said. “To be clear, this evacuation is for those within the Ether Hollow flood zone. Residents in this area have been preparing for this event for months. Further updates will be reports as they come available.”

This incident map, issued in Sept. 23, 2020 by inciweb.nwcg.gov, shows the area of the Ether Hollow Fire relative to Springville (to the northwest) and Mapleton (to the southwest).

Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff’s Office, told Gephardt Daily that crews from multiple issues were responding to sites all over Utah County due to the brief but strong rainfall, which he described as a “deluge.”

Cannon said he had heard reports of manholes being dislodged by water rising from below, and of multiple residential basements flooding. A railroad crossing had been slammed with mud, he said, but it still would have been passible if it had not triggered the crossing arms to remain down.

One area hit hard was the Dairy Fork Wildlife area, near Route 6 at mile marker 195, which had traffic problems.

The cloudburst caused small streams to swell and, even with the rain stopped, mud is still moving due to the mountainous landscape’s saturation, he said.

According to reports, parts of Salt Lake County and other counties in the region also got hit hard by the brief but heavy rain.

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