Floodwaters overtake Cove Wash as heavy rains hit St. George; 2 golf courses closed

ST. GEORGE — Onlookers gathered at bridges around Sunbrook communities, phones and cameras out, as a flash flood rushed over golf course greens and into Cove Wash on Sunday evening.

Flooding in a wash near Sunbrook Communities, St. George, Utah, Aug. 14, 2022 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, St. George News

After the storm hit, brown, debris-filled floodwaters filled the drainages, most likely to the west and north of Santa Clara, near the Shivwits Band of Paiutes reservation, said Coldy Cowan, who serves as the golf director for St. George City.

“It’s just a cell comes in, a quick-hitter like that, and just dumps out west and then those drainages fill up rapidly,” he said.

St. George Fire Department Chief Robert Stoker said the area northwest of Divario Canyon Drive, west of Sunbrook Communities and Box Canyon also drains into Cove Wash.

Cowan said the wash was designed to drain into the Santa Clara River and has captured similar floods in previous years.

The flooding started between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m, Cowan said, adding that by approximately 8:15 p.m, it had already begun receding.

Flooding on a golf course in Sunbrook Communities, St. George, Utah, Aug. 14, 2022 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, St. George News

“It was truly a flash flood,” he said. “It was pretty quick. Come by in the morning and it will probably not be running at all.”

There are three nine-hole courses in Sunbrook communities, two of which were affected by Sunday’s flash flood, Cowan said. Holes eight and nine were impacted on the Woodbridge Golf Course and holes one and seven were affected at The Pointe.

Cowan doesn’t expect any permanent damage to the courses or irrigation, but the Woodbridge and The Pointe golf courses will likely be closed for the next two to three days while they dry and debris is removed.

“It’s happened a few times through the years with the different flooding episodes we’ve had,” he said. “It’s usually just scraping mud after dries a little bit and moving some branches and different logs that can come down through there.”

The flood was assessed by city officials and the Fire Department and there was reportedly no threat to homes in the area, Cowan added.

Cowan said the flood was a good reminder for people to be cautious and keep their distance from washes during rainstorms and flooding. He suggested that citizens stay at least 10-15 feet away.

A double rainbow, St. George, Utah, Aug. 14, 2022 | Photo courtesy of Blair Frei, St. George News

“That water was moving pretty quickly,” he said. “So maybe that is just a reminder for people to be cautious.”

As St. George News reported Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Southern Utah. Multiple cities were impacted and citizens experienced heavy rain and flooding throughout Washington County.

Additionally, those looking toward the sky shortly before sunset were treated to vibrant orange and gold skies and a double rainbow.

Visit the National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office website for current conditions.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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