Rain Damages Roads, Couple Rescued From Rising Creek


Four inches of rain Saturday through Sunday morning washed out roads, flooded creeks and necessitated two Star Valley residents being plucked from floodwaters that had reached the bottom of the driver's window Saturday night.

Gary Hatch, fire chief for Diamond Star Fire Department, said a married couple returning from out-of-town had to be rescued from rising waters in Houston Creek Saturday night.

"The water had reached the bottom of the driver's side window of their truck, and there was about a foot of water inside the cab by the time they were rescued," Hatch said.

Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron measured more than two inches of rain on his property near the east end of town.

Heron said that the town is grappling with washes that are overflowing with granite rocks.

With each passing rain, more rocks fill up the water drainage ways, causing rising water levels and subsequent flooding, he said.

"Behind the Spur Bar, the streambed was equal to the level of the parking lot," Heron said. "It flooded part of the business and the business next door. We had a lot of property flooding where we've had it before."

The town has called for a town hall meeting to discuss the flooding issues tonight, Tuesday, at 6:30 at the new town hall building on Highway 260.

Laron Garrett, Payson town engineer, said McLane Road and Forest Drive had to be closed Saturday and Sunday, due to flooding.

"The only damage I am aware of was at the shopping mall on the corner of Bonita Street and Highway 87, all the businesses in that complex got some water in their back doors and had to be closed," Garrett said.

He said crews are in the process of removing dirt washed onto some of Payson's roads and streets, but that no roads are still closed and cleanup should be completed by the end of the week.

Jerry Farr, deputy construction manager for the Gila County Engineering Department said Gisela and Tonto Basin were the hardest hit, with residents getting as much as four and five inches of rain.

Farr said damages from the rains and flooding are still in the process of being estimated.

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