“The rains came down and the floods came up …”
That was the theme song in Tooele City and some surrounding communities in Tooele County on Sunday night.
Tooele City received 1.34 inches of rain between the first of August and 7 a.m. on Aug. 2, with 1.02 of those inches falling within one hour on Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service’s official weather observer for Tooele City.
While those were the official reports of precipitation, some county residents reported rainfall on Sunday in their neighborhoods that exceeded two inches.
That amount of rain overwhelmed drainage systems, causing flash flooding on Tooele City’s Main Street and in other areas of the city and county.
And it wasn’t just rain, the temperature dropped from almost 90 degrees at 6 p.m. to 68 degrees at 9 p.m. on Sunday evening while wind gusts increased from 8 mph to 48 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Tooele County Emergency Management reported at 9:25 p.m. on Sunday that they had received at that time 34 reports of water damage to homes, three government buildings, and three businesses.
More reports were expected to come in on Monday.
A sand bag filling location was set up at the Tooele City salt shed on South Main Street.
Settlement Canyon and Middle Canyon were closed due to large amounts of debris on their roads.
Soldier Canyon Road out of Stockton was closed due to flooding. Soldier Creek had flooded, washing out Soldier Canyon. State Route 36 through Stockton was closed for a while on Sunday by flooding. The Utah Department of Transportation used plows to try and clear the water and debris from the roadway.
The Stockton Police Department reported that multiple homes in the town suffered flood damage.
One woman, in her 80s, was briefly trapped by flood waters, however she was rescued by the Stockton Fire Department, according to the Stockton Police Department.
The flood waters also impacted the Union Pacific Railroad, which was alerted to the flooding of the tracks and sent crews to assess any damages and or safety concerns.
Neighbors, friends, first responders and even strangers pitched in to help pump out water, fill sandbags, check on neighbors, and help residents and businesses deal with the aftermath of the downpour.
Jon Gossett said he was at home on Sunday evening watching the storm out his window when his daughter showed him a video on Facebook of the flood on Tooele City’s Main Street.
Gossett said he immediately left home to check on the building he owns at 17 N. Main Street that houses the Mattresses by Appointment store.
Upon arrival, Gossett said the sidewalk in front of the building was a river of running water with the water running under the door of his building. The water filled the floor of the building from the front door to the back door, he said.
While Gossett was working inside the building a young couple with three children and a baby stroller came in and asked if they could help.
“I had never seen them before,” he said. “They stayed and helped us clean up.”
While Sunday’s flash flood contributed to the total of 1.34 inches of rain for August 2021 so far in Tooele City — a month that normally averages a total of 0.94 inches for the entire month — the drought has not ended.
Tooele City, as of 7 a.m. on Aug. 2, has received 7.52 inches of precipitation for the current water year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
The normal precipitation for the water year at the end of July for Tooele City is 16.13 inches.