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As the rain continued to fall, Cache County firefighters and volunteers spent Thursday night filling sandbags and distributing them to help flood-plagued residents.
Meanwhile as the waters continued to rise, the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City issued a flood warning for western Cache County that was set to expire about 4 a.m. Friday.
Officials reported the unseasonable rains were unable to seep into the frozen ground, so instead they were flowing into basements, into yards and fields and pooling and blocking roadways. The most heavily hit areas were Mendon and Wellsville, which are in the southern half of the county. Authorities also urged commuters not to take any chances traveling across flooded roads, and asked that they take alternate routes should they come across water on roadways.
In rural Wellsville and Mendon, several residential basements were flooded, said Rick Williams, Cache County Emergency Services manager. Residents Thursday were sandbagging some homes.
"We got a tremendous amount of water overnight in the foothills, and we had canals, culverts and ditches clogged and overflowing," he said.
Valley rains and mountain snow that raised avalanche risks to dangerous levels statewide and caused localized flooding Thursday were expected to continue through Saturday. Sunday will bring only a 20 percent chance of snow and colder temperatures in northern Utah.
The Utah Avalanche Center warned Thursday that the potential for life-threatening snowslides was highest along upper- and mid-level slopes of the state's mountains due to heavy snowfall. Along with the amount of snow, its structure concerned forecasters: the snow that fell late Wednesday and early Thursday was particularly granular, on top of "weak, sugary or faceted" existing snow bases.
The Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo and western Uintas slopes all were given "red" or high-risk ratings for avalanches as of Thursday.
At least one avalanche was reportedly spotted late Wednesday or early Thursday along the northwest face of Gobblers Knob, roughly between Mill Creek and Big Cottonwood canyons, according to UAC forecaster Brett Kobernik. While he could not confirm the slide, he said it apparently did not cause any injuries or property damage. "It must have been pretty good sized, though, to be seen by an observer [down in the Salt Lake Valley]," he said.
Thursday afternoon, another avalanche was reportedly triggered by a skier west of the Park City ridge line. No injuries were reported in that slide, either.
The continuing round of storms are expected to bring mostly rain to northern Utah's valleys and more snow, in places heavy, to the benches and Wasatch Mountains.
Snowbasin Ski Resort reported 15 new inches of snow overnight Wednesday. Alta, Powder Mountain and Snowbird resorts had 14-inch totals, while Sundance had 11 and Brighton 10 inches of new snow. Other area resorts reported fresh coverings of 5-9 inches.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through midafternoon Friday for the Wasatch Mountains north of Interstate 80. Higher-elevation snow of 1-3 feet was predicted, along with strong winds.
Southern Utah, meanwhile, should see highs in the upper-50s under partly cloudy skies.