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.
The victims were in their vehicles when they were struck by a “big wall of water,” washing the vehicles downstream, according to Hildale Fire Dept. Assistant Chief Kevin Barlow.
Search crews are continuing to look for anyone missing in the flood waters, but they scaled back the search due to the hazardous conditions and darkness, authorities said. A full-scale search will resume at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
The flash flooding also left area streets littered with mud, sand, boulders and debris, with homes damaged and power outages reported, according to Washington County Emergency Services Public Information Officer Pete Kuhlmann.
Hildale is located on the Utah-Arizona border and serves as a sister town of Colorado City, Arizona.