Justice Court among locations flooded as rain hammers Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY -- Some streets in downtown Salt Lake City were turned into waterways Friday morning after nearly an inch of rain fell in less than an hour.

The flooding briefly shut down the Salt Lake City Justice Court after the water reached two feet high on the streets and then poured into the courthouse.

“It was pretty bad,” said Curtis Preece, Salt Lake City Justice Court Administrator. “For about 20 to 25 minutes nobody could get in or out, so we had to have people wait outside and then we exited a lot of the public out the back.”

Salt Lake City Crossfit was also hit by the floodwaters. Owner Justin Dickson got a call from one of his employees who said the water was 5-inches deep inside the gym.

“I got in the car and drove down here and took off my shoes and waded across the river here and came in and tried to push some water out,” Dickson said.

The gym was back in business thanks to help provided by club members.

“My athletes, they’re the ones who helped clean everything out,” Dickson added. “They’re pretty tough and decided the show must go on, so, they’re still going.”

The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities said it was prepared for the storm thanks to lessons from the last flood. On July 26, heavy rains damaged East High School, Highland High School, Emerson Elementary, the Sprague Branch Library and the Salt Lake Center for Science Education.

“We mobilized early,” said Laura Briefer, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities Director. “We have been coordinating very closely with our fire department and emergency division so it has gone very smoothly today.”

City employees cleared out storm outlets from debris and diverted water from the Jordan River into surplus canals as a precaution.

“We did expect to have unsettled weather today and some rain, but the intensity of it was a little surprising,” Briefer said.

The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities received about 20 calls during the heavy rains, mostly about flooded streets. Salt Lake City residents are urged to report any flooding problems by calling 801-483-6700, then press 1 to reach a dispatcher.