US-89 between Thistle and Birdseye opened earlier than expected

Local News

UPDATE: Utah Department of Transportation indicated the road will be closed until at least Monday at 6 a.m.

BIRDSEYE, Utah (ABC4 News) – US-89 is closed in southeastern Utah County due to flooding Friday evening.

Utah Department of Transportation said the roadway is closed in both directions due to debris and flooding one mile north of Birdseye.

MUD, DEBRIS COVER US-89 IN UTAH COUNTY

Heavy equipment plowed through underwater debris with dozens of vehicles stranded along the highway.

“The mud and rock and debris flow was 2 feet thick over the roadway,” said Sgt. Nick Street with Utah Highway Patrol.

The roadway is surrounded by burn scar from last year’s Pole Creek fire.

“With that, of course, that debris is more easily picked up, mudflows off the mountainside a little easier, and this is the result,” said Sgt. Street.

Troopers said some drivers fled their vehicle to get to higher ground.

“It sounds like there were a few people that had to sprint to safety – and fortunately they were able to,” said Sgt. Street.

US-89 TO BE CLOSED FOR ‘UNDETERMINED’ AMOUNT OF TIME

Highway 89 between mile markers 6 and 11 will be closed indefinitely until crews can assess the situation.

Flash flooding and mudslides caused water, mud and other debris to cover the highway.

Three different tractors and plows are being used to clear the debris, so the Utah Department of Transportation can determine how much damage has been done to the roadway.

This amount of water can erode the shoulders of the road, so the pavement and substructure underneath can become unstable which creates unsafe conditions for drivers.

Utah Department of Transportation says this same area flooded back in 1983 but the damage wasn’t anything of this magnitude.

“This hasn’t happened to this level in several years, so this is a big event for us in trying to clean things up and get the roadway reopen,” said Geoff Dupaix, UDOT Region 3 Communication Manager.

If the weather cooperates, UDOT hopes to get everything cleared up in these overnight hours.

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Pinpoint Weather Forecasts

Utah's Most Accurate Forecast with Meteorologist Devon Lucie

Thumbnail for the video titled "Utah's Most Accurate Forecast with Meteorologist Devon Lucie"

Weather School - Chancellor Gardens Assisted Living

Thumbnail for the video titled "Weather School - Chancellor Gardens Assisted Living"

Rain coming down in Salt Lake County

Thumbnail for the video titled "Rain coming down in Salt Lake County"

Utah's Most Accurate Forecast with Meteorologist Alana Brophy

Thumbnail for the video titled "Utah's Most Accurate Forecast with Meteorologist Alana Brophy"

Lightning sparks several fires as storms pass through Tooele County

Thumbnail for the video titled "Lightning sparks several fires as storms pass through Tooele County"
More Weather

Latest News Videos

Girl with rare skin disease receives opportunity to write book, seeking public's help publishing

Thumbnail for the video titled "Girl with rare skin disease receives opportunity to write book, seeking public's help publishing"

Popeyes introduces bring your own bun

Thumbnail for the video titled "Popeyes introduces bring your own bun"

Brigham City boy with brain cancer is one of many receiving acts of kindness thanks to anonymous donor's pay it forward initiative

Thumbnail for the video titled "Brigham City boy with brain cancer is one of many receiving acts of kindness thanks to anonymous donor's pay it forward initiative"

Sandy Healing Field displays nearly 3,000 flags for 9/11 anniversary

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sandy Healing Field displays nearly 3,000 flags for 9/11 anniversary"

Little Cottonwood Canyon Debris Slide

Thumbnail for the video titled "Little Cottonwood Canyon Debris Slide"
More Video News

Don't Miss

The Mel Robbins Show

Trending Stories