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Flash Floods On Utah-Arizona Border Leave At Least 8 Dead

Debris and water cover the ground in Hildale, Utah, where a flood ripped through the town Monday.

Flash flooding in Utah left eight people dead and five others missing Monday when two vehicles carrying 16 women and children were hit by a rush of water and swept into a channel.

Three victims survived, and one was transported to a hospital.

NPR's Howard Berkes reports for the Newscast unit:

"Emergency officials say back-to-back storms dropped heavy rain on Canaan Mountain just above Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. That sent torrents of water into the dry washes that flow through the communities. Local families had gathered to watch the flooding."

Search and rescue efforts were scaled back overnight due to the treacherous conditions, but will resume Tuesday at 7 a.m. local time. Emergency responders from the cities of Hildale, Colorado City, Hurricane and from the Washington County Sheriff's office, along with search and rescue workers from Mohave County and Apple Valley, were on the scene.

"We're pretty used to flash flooding, but this is significantly more than what we're used to," said Hildale Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Barlow.

The Utah Division of Emergency Management said in a statement that the streets in flood-affected areas were awash in mud, sand, boulders and debris, and that many homes were without power and water.

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