News LIVE: Post storm cleanup begins; Updated at 2:35 p.m.

Heavy rain over St. George creates a waterfall off the Red Hill, St. George, Utah, Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News

NEWS LIVE: This report contains news live as it develops and is being  updated continuously. Bookmark and refresh the page periodically for updates. LAST UPDATE: 2:35 p.m.

ST. GEORGE – Due to damage from heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Norbert near Baja, California, Monday, interstate travel on I-15 is impeded between Las Vegas and St. George.

The prolonged period of moderate to heavy rainfall and embedded thunderstorms produced widespread rain amounts of 1-3 inches and up to 5 inches of rain in some areas in Nevada.

Officials told ABC 13 they expect I-15 to be shut down for three-to-four days.

Updated at: 2:35 p.m.: Post storm clean up begins in St. George

With the passing of the storm, a cleanup process has begun in St. George and the surrounding area.

Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager of St. George, said the city has entered “cleanup mode.”

At first, it didn’t look like the storm would hit the St. George area, but Mother Nature had other ideas.

“We thought we had dodged the bullet,” Mortensen said, but that changed when the downpour came at about 10:30 a.m.

An estimated 1 ½ to 2 inches of rain hit St. George between 10:30-11:30 a.m., Mortensen said. That’s about the same amount of rainfall that hit the city on Aug. 26. The area’s annual rainfall is around 8 ½ inches, he said.

Unlike the August storm, only five roadways had to be shut down due to Tuesday’s flooding, he said.

Roadways affected by the storm included Sunset Boulevard at 2100 West, north 200 East to Skyline Drive, 1060 North to 1400 West, 540 N. Dixie Downs Road, and 1130 N. 1340 West.

A number of apartments were flooded in the area around Westridge Drive. On 200 East, small boulders fell into the roadway from the Red Hill. However, Mortensen said there has been no critical damage to public infrastructure.

As the waters continue to drain away, the cleanup process commences and continues.

“We’re back to where we were two weeks ago,” Mortensen said, referring to the debris left behind by the flooding. It may take a few weeks to clean up after this latest storm, he said.

“We’re asking for people to be patient with the (cleanup) process,” Mortensen said.

Update at 12 p.m.: Nevada Department of Transportation is working on opening up I-15 at Nevada Exit 93 junction with state Route 169 to Logandale and Overton, according to a text message from Arizona Highway Patrol Sgt. John T. Bottoms. This would allow rerouting traffic through the Valley of Fire to reach Las Vegas. The detour will be available to passenger traffic only, Bottoms said, and no commercial traffic will be permitted to travel south of Mesquite, Nevada. Bottoms said very long delays are expected as all of the traffic stopped in Nevada will proceed on that route. Watch for further update confirming the Valley of Fire alternate route is open before proceeding.

The Washington County School District has canceled afternoon pre-school and kindergarten classes have been canceled by the for Santa Clara, Coral Cliffs, Arrowhead, Red Mountain, Sunset, Dixie Sun elementary schools.

Water in some flooded areas in St. George is beginning to go down, though it is leaving behind mud and debris.

UDOT reports that SR-9 Through Zion National Park is closed.

Update at 11:25 a.m: Main Street in Washington City where it passes under I-15 is closed.

Indians Hills Drive and Dixie Drive area should be avoided.

Report continues below

Waterfall off the Red Hill, St. George, Utah, Sept. 9, 2014 | Video by Brett Barrett

The Terry dip on Sunset is flooded. Between 2100 West and Tuweap Dr., St. George, Utah, around 11 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Julie Applegate, St. George News
The Terry dip on Sunset is flooded. Between 2100 West and Tuweap Dr., St. George, Utah, around 11 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Julie Applegate, St. George News

St. George

Update at 11 a.m.: The City of St. George is reporting road closures at  1000 East and Red Hills Parkway and North 200 East to Skyline Drive

A portion of Sunset Boulevard also appears to be shutdown due to flooding across the road near the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center.

Heavy flooding off Westridge Drive is being reported with flooding to apartments in the area.

The Washington County School District has dismissed Snow Canyon Middle will be dismissed due to flooding within school at noon. Buses will transport students.

St. George Police posted on its Facebook page that people can get  sandbags,  at the St. George Reuse Center at 575 E Brigham Road. You can also contact them by phone at 435-627-4028. 

Zion National Park

The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway is closed through the park due to water & debris on the road. Shuttle service to Zion Canyon has been suspended.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Zion National Park until 8:15 p.m. All slot canyons, including The Narrows, are closed.

Flooding off of Westridge Drive, St. George, Utah, Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Alex Gifford, St. George News
Flooding off of Westridge Drive, St. George, Utah, Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Alex Gifford, St. George News

I-15 southbound

Update at  10 a.m.:  I-15 southbound at Exit 2  in Utah has been reopen. Traffic will be permitted to travel through the Gorge to Mesquite but travel any farther south is prohibited.


Read more here: News LIVE: Heavy rains shut down Virgin River Gorge

Schools

There will be no school Tuesday in Mesquite, Bunkerville and Moapa, Nevada.

Travel impacts

  •  I-15 North and southbound remains closed at Moapa, Nevada.
  • I-15 northbound from Mesquite to St George is open.
  • I-15 southbound from St George to Mesquite has reopened as of 9:50 a.m.

Alternate route

Alterrnate route between St. George and Las Vegas via LIncoln County, Nevada
Alterrnate route between St. George and Las Vegas via LIncoln County, Nevada | Click on Map to enlarge

If you must travel to and from Las Vegas the roads through Lincoln County, Nevada, are open, specifically Nevada Hwy 93, Hwy 319, Utah Hwy 56, Utah Hwy 18, I-15 in Utah.

From St. George to Las Vegas: take Highway 18 to Utah Highway 56 which becomes Nevada Highway 319 to U.S. Highway 93, to I-15 in Nevada.

Mesquite Police urge everyone to please drive careful and be mindful of emergency crews.

Flash flood warnings remain in effect

The National Weather Service flood warning remains in effect until 9 a.m. PDT for the  muddy river in northeastern Clark County.

According to the National Weather Service, law enforcement officials reported that water had receded as much as 5 feet in flooded sections of Overton between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.  However, a secondary flood wave on the muddy river was indicated by  a gage near Moapa. This will likely produce an additional rise along the muddy river in Overton before sunrise. Though it will be less substantial than the initial flood. People along the muddy river from Moapa to Overton are urged to remain vigilant for flooding through the night.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

Related posts

Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

27 Comments

  • Steve September 9, 2014 at 9:16 am

    You need to be much more specific about what the situation is in specific places. For example, you need to say that the southbound lanes of I-15 were destroyed about 3 miles west of Glendale, Nevada and that NDOT has closed I-15 in both directions from Highway 93 all the way over the Mormon Mesa to the Bunkerville exit. While it may take 3-4 days or longer to repair the washed out section of southbound I-15, you need to find out how quickly an alternate solution (such as using the northbound lanes for travel in both directions) will be implemented. And you need to report on whether all roads leading out of Moapa Valley are blocked or whether it is possible to drive south from Overton via Lake Mead to Las Vegas. It is also very important to know what ADOT intends to do in the Virgin River Gorge and how soon they will reopen the southbound lanes, allowing travel to Mesquite. How is all of this affecting traffic on Bluff in St. George and Highway 18 further north?

    • Dixielambs September 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Yes, Steve, we’d all like to have those questions answered. But reporting takes resources. SG News does a pretty good job for free, and I am sure they are trying to get more info and pix.

    • San September 9, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Dude it’s been hours and no one is being allowed into that area. My guess is that phone calls have not been returned and all else is conjecture. Is your post an accurate report on what is going on? Have you driven and verified that route? Is it stable or subject to closure for runoff? Everyone needs to take a breath and be patient. Unless, of course, you are stranded at the gas station in Glendale with your babies, or out of gas on the freeway….again with babies…waiting for help. I heard a woman on the news say she witnessed that last night. If we could get there I’d take some water and a full gas can and head out.

    • Bobby September 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Sounds like “you need” to get a life. From the looks of things, you have got it all figured out. I get sick of reading peoples negative comments about news posts. If you think you can do a better job then why aren’t you reporting for the news? “You need” to take a step back and realize they are doing the best they can and report new information as they get it. Thanks for being insolent:)

    • Zonkerb September 10, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Well heck Steve maybe you should report the news because according to your comment anybody else is just to stupid to be able to perform the task at hand to your personal satisfaction. On behalf of the human race I would like to apologize for your inconvenience and insufficient information as the storm has affected thousand. of people and some people have lost their lives so I apologize for your ignorance on behalf of the human race. But I do have a question for you. Whats it like walking on water.?

  • caringneighbors September 9, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Old highway 91 is now closed per Washington County Dispatch.

  • caringneighbors September 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I 15 Southbound is now open through the gorge. Debris near Toquerville exit.

  • Terri September 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Has anyone taken this alternate route from St. George to Vegas? Can anyone give me an approximate travel time?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Mapquest puts it at 4 hours, 25 minutes, on a normal day. Today is not normal. We have a reporter on the road now and will be reporting how he finds the road.

      • V.J. September 9, 2014 at 10:37 am

        Thank you for the excellent reporting, Joyce. We are also interested to know total miles for the alternate route (maybe compared to I-15 route to Vegas) and will watch for updates on estimated travel time.

      • Real Life September 10, 2014 at 12:04 am

        Took me 10 hours to get to Vegas going the North route. Took me 3 hours to come back through Valley of Fire. Took over 4 hours just to get to Panaca. Was an absolute mess, but most people were calm and collected.

        • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 10, 2014 at 5:44 am

          Another helpful report, posted at 12:04 a.m. Sept. 10. Thank you Real Life 🙂
          ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
          Joyce Kuzmanic
          Editor in Chief

  • Joanna September 9, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for the coverage, STGNews!

  • Dixielambs September 9, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Thanx for your coverage Joyce. Has anyone been able to locate any aerial pictures taken of the FWY in the damaged sections?

  • John September 9, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Steve, you need to relax before you blow your lid.

  • Carlos Vargas September 9, 2014 at 11:08 am

    There’s no way to get to mesquite from vegas

  • Carlos Vargas September 9, 2014 at 11:55 am

    ?

  • E T September 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Wow, hope Lake Mead water level rises from all the water.

  • Elsa Tellez September 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Do they predict when the I-15 will re-open to Vegas?
    Elsa

  • bri September 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    So if I am reading this correctly, I will be able to get to Las Vegas from Cedar City by taking the I-15 Southbound and will then be redirected towards Logandale/Overton? But I will not be able to get back to Cedar City, because the Northbound I-15 is closed, is this correct?

  • Dave the weather geek September 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Any update on the alternate route to Las Vegas yet is everything clear on it ?

  • Marsha September 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    My mom just went Overton logandale through the valley of fire from mesquite and there was little traffic. It will take you back to I-15. It took her about an hour.

  • CB September 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    How about someone trying to get out of Vegas going up through Utah but doesn’t know the alternate highways?

  • Jim September 9, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Is the north shore road route through Overton OK to get back to I15.

  • Sandra Alderson September 9, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Can we travel the gorge tomorrow?

    • Cami Cox Jim Cami Cox Jim September 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      According to Washington County dispatch, the Gorge was open as of early Tuesday afternoon. So unless there is additional raining/flooding during the night, you should be able to travel through the Gorge. If you have any questions about a travel route, I recommend calling non-emergency dispatch before you leave: 435-634-5730

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.