Utah-Arizona flood: Flash flood kills eight and sends two vehicles downstream


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Originally published on 15 September, 2015

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Flash flooding ravaged a Utah town best known as the former home base for imprisoned polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs.

The town of Hildale on the Utah-Arizona border was hit by a flash flood that swept away two vehicles, killing at least eight people and leaving five missing.

On Monday evening, the canyons above Hildale received intense rain and, within minutes, Hildale was flooded.

Witness Chris Wyler told CNN the flash flood happened very quickly, within half an hour.

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A full-size van and an SUV carrying a total of 16 people, mainly women and children, were hit by a wall of water that sent the two vehicles hundreds of yards downstream.

The water receded as quickly as it appeared. By late Monday night, most of the water was gone.

Residents of the community are trying to find those missing and reaching for help on social media.

Hilldale is the headquarters of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamist sect that split off from the Mormon church 100 years ago. Its leader, Warren Jeffs, was sentenced to life in prison for having sexual relations with young girls he viewed as brides.


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