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Governor declares state of emergency as floods sweep through part of Utah

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Kim Jarrett

(The Center Square) – Utah Governor Spencer Cox declared a state of emergency for three counties hit with torrential rains that caused flash flooding, leading to one death. 

Extreme drought conditions exacerbated the flooding risk, Cox said in his emergency order. 

“We’ve seen destructive flash floods tear through communities, damage homes and businesses, and endanger lives throughout southern Utah. State government remains ready to offer emergency coordination and expertise as these areas recover and rebuild,” Cox said in news release. "We mourn the loss of Jetal Agnihotri of Tucson and pray for her loved ones. About 170 individuals spent 1,700 hours on search and rescue and we can’t thank them enough for their relentless efforts.” 

The declaration is for Grand, Emery and Wayne counties. Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson visited Moab, a city in Grand County, on Tuesday. The move frees up state funds and allots more resources to the counties named in the declaration.

“I’m shocked by the size and scope of the flooding that swept through Moab causing damage to homes, businesses, and local infrastructure,” Henderson said. “Moab is open for business and the cleanup is well underway. If you want to help, here’s how: Visit Moab. Locals need your business and support – now more than ever.”

The emergency order remains in effect for 30 days.