100 year flood in Southern Utah – “stuck out here, in paradise”

The picture of The Gate House in Gunlock reminded me of the 100 year flood we experienced while living there.  We have great pictures and a great story that I’ve never shared so here goes.

Gunlock damn is flooding

We took these pictures prior to the flood taking out the bridges of town, even prior to anyone knowing what was coming.

The morning the river grew so big that that bridges where taken out we awoke to a large spot light over by the river.  We also could hear the river from our home which was unusual.  It was still dark out so we couldn’t see the encroaching water.  But, as it grew lighter we we quickly got out and began documenting the travels of the water and what it took with it.

One of the first bridges to go was the bridge to Stacie Smith Shurtliff’s home.

The Shurtliff’s Home

They had to hike out by going up the hill behind their home.

Hyrum and Gail Smith ended up loosing a large portion of the top soil behind their home.

Hyrum and Gail Smith’s Home (Eagle Mountain Ranch)

Along with the top soil the flood waters also took out their water line.

The Smith’s field is washing away

Several days into the flood they decided to tap into the Gate House’s well to get water for their home.  This allowed us electrical power to our home giving us water and power once again.

As we drove back and forth through town we just happened to be at the Northern bridge at the right moment to watch it wash away.

Northern bridge is going to go!

stand back!

Ahhh!

going… going…

gone

The bridge south of town, despite all efforts, was swallowed too.

We watched as men in tractors tried to reinforce the southern bridge by putting fill in but it was impossible to stop the bridge from going. In the end there was nothing they could do. The town was now inaccessible.

We also watched as homes were over taken.  People tried evacuating their possessions even while the waters rose until the water was just too great a threat. Then they just stood and watched, forlorn.

We also sat in our car and watched as the river ate greedily away at the road right in the center of town.

Notice the left side of the road just beginning to be eaten

Power lines are down. Ice cream party anyone?

We were nervous that the white home would be washed away so people from town all helped move everything out of the home.

Aerial view of the road through town prior to the blue outhouse disappearing.

Luckily the home stayed but the blue out house right in front was swept down river.

  The town decided to have a big cook out that night since most people didn’t have power to their freezers anymore.

Notice the chopper in the top left corner.

A black hawk chopper came to assist some elderly folks.

Very ominous feeling!

Sherrad just 2 weeks old

Sherrad was just 2 weeks old at the time. No power, no water, no phone, but we were happy as could be!  We were together with no way for Jeremy to get to work. 

We were “stuck out here, in paradise!”

Paradise
by John Anderson

There’s a state highway at the end of this road
Muddy for miles, anywhere you go
Stick it to the doors if you even try
Neighbor couldn’t make it in a 4-wheel drive
But, we got a house and a creek to fish
Seven acres and a satellite dish

I don’t wanna go
Nowhere
Let the river flow
I don’t care
Can’t go to work
The boss can’t call
Me and my baby don’t mind at all
Stuck out here, in paradise

Searchin’ the skies for a change in the weather
Gonna get worse ‘fore it gets better
Bridge is out, 2nd time this year
Ain’t no other way out of here
Got deer in the woods
Tomatoes in a jar
A fire and a VCR

I don’t wanna go
Nowhere
Let the river flow
I don’t care
Can’t go to work
The boss can’t call
Me and my baby don’t mind at all
Stuck out here, in paradise

Got the garden’ in
And the wood all stacked
A freezer on the porch out back

I don’t wanna go
Nowhere
Let the river flow
I don’t care
Can’t go to work
The boss can’t call
Me and my baby don’t mind at all
Stuck out here, in paradise

In paradise

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