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Flash Flooding Kills 15 Near Utah-Arizona Border

  • VOA News

Following a flash flood that killed at least 15 people, a man looks on as crews clear mud and debris from a road in Colorado City, Ariz., which adjoins Hildale, Utah, Sept. 15, 2015.

Following a flash flood that killed at least 15 people, a man looks on as crews clear mud and debris from a road in Colorado City, Ariz., which adjoins Hildale, Utah, Sept. 15, 2015.

A small town near the Utah-Arizona border was in shock and mourning Tuesday after a flash flood killed at least 15 people.

Officials in Hildale, Utah, said 12 of the victims drowned when the unexpectedly powerful water washed away two cars. At least one person was still missing.

Three others died and four went missing when a group of explorers got caught in the same flood in a canyon in Zion National Park, about 32 kilometers north of Hildale.

Rescuers, assisted by the National Guard and hundreds of volunteers, were searching for the missing and working to push the thick mud and tons of debris out of the small city.

Extremely heavy rains caused rivers and streams to overflow, prompting the sudden flood. Hildale residents said they had seen flash floods pour through the canyons and town before, but not with such strength.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert said Tuesday that he was "heartbroken" and pledged the state's full resources to help with the cleanup.

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