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7 dead after flash flooding hits Utah town

/ 02:50 PM September 15, 2015
Fatal Flash Flooding

Debris and water cover the ground after a flash flood Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Hildale, Utah. Authorities say multiple people are dead and others missing after a flash flood ripped through the town on the Utah-Arizona border Monday night. Mark Lamont via AP

SALT LAKE CITY — A wall of flood water swept away two vehicles carrying women and children in the western United States Monday night, killing at least seven people and leaving six others missing, authorities said.

Three people survived as the flash flooding washed the vehicles carrying 16 people several hundred yards downstream at about 5 p.m., said Hildale assistant fire chief Kevin Barlow.

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As of Monday night, seven people were confirmed dead, with six others still missing, he said.

Search and rescue teams called off the search late into the evening due to treacherous conditions in the sister towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, he said.

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The floods came after heavy rains fell in the canyons just north of the towns, sending waves of water barreling through the streets of a community of 7,700 people that is the home base of a polygamous sect run by Warren Jeffs. The towns are about 315 miles (505 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

The women and children were in two different cars, Barlow said: A full size van and an SUV.

Search and rescue teams are scheduled to resume efforts to find the missing people at daybreak.

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TAGS: Arizona, Colorado City, flash flood, Hildale, Salt Lake City, United States, US, Utah
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