DUCHESNE, Utah (News4Utah)- The Strawberry River Road west of Camelot resort is expected to remain closed for at least a year due to the damage from a recent flash flood and debris flow.
The flood that happened on Sunday, July 22, produced debris 12 feet deep in some places according to Duchesne County Road Department Director Ben Henderson.
Duchesne County Sheriff David Boren also issued a warning Thursday for those with property from Timber Canyon east to the Camelot/Strawberry Pinnacles area.
“If you stay in this area, you do so at your own risk,” the sheriff said. “Any additional rain in this area carries the real potential for loss of life.
“Deputies, search and rescue personnel and road crews will not respond to rescue people out of this area during future flooding events if the risk to first responders is deemed to be too great,” Boren added.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said Sunday’s storm dropped 1.5 inches of rain on part of the Dollar Ridge Fire burn scar in just over an hour. The rain sent a wall of water and debris down the Strawberry River trapping more than 50 people in Timber Canyon and the Strawberry Pinnacles/Camelot area.
The NWS has plans to install a weather monitoring station southwest of the burn scar to try to provide an early warning when storms move through the area. That weather station should be installed by late August and will remain in place for three years.
The County Road Department now has a hard closure in place on Strawberry River Road at Timber Canyon. Officials in Duchesne and Wasatch counties will meet Tuesday to arrange a time when people with property west of Camelot can receive an escort to their property to retrieve their belongings. Information about the escorted trip will be posted following that meeting.
People living along the Strawberry River from Strawberry Reservoir in Wasatch County to Starvation Reservoir in Duchesne County should be aware that any rainfall could produce high runoff and debris flow due to the Dollar Ridge Fire burn scar, Henderson said.
“Sunday’s flooding already altered the course of the Strawberry River and future incidents could alter the river’s course further in ways that can’t be predicted,” he said.