As if Tuesday's intense thunderstorm and all of its trappings - lightning strikes, minor flooding, hail and such - weren't enough the first time around, the storm front took an unusual return trip through parts of the state.
Some cities reported nearly 2 inches of precipitation from the storm, with Kearns and Tooele among the cities getting soaked twice as rains continued through the night. Some areas also reported hail up to a half-inch in diameter."We got a double-whammy from the system," said National Weather Service meteorologist William Alder, explaining that the system took an unusual route. The complex of storms moved from Sandy, through downtown Salt Lake City and along the Wasatch Front through Davis, Weber and Box Elder counties later in Tuesday afternoon before reaching western Wyoming and circling back into Utah.
Scott Shumway, 26, was working on an aluminum patio door shortly after noon at a home at 915 Ashley Circle in Bountiful when a lightning bolt apparently hit the door, according to Bountiful firefighters.
Current from the strike passed through Shumway, who was taken to Lakeview Hospital feeling dizzy and lightheaded, firemen reported. He was treated at the hospital and later discharged.
Lightning struck a condominium Tuesday afternoon, starting a fire that caused about $52,000 damage.
The fire started about 12:40 p.m. when a lightning bolt struck the roof of the condo at 5259 Spring Gate Drive, said Larry Olsen, Salt Lake County Fire Department battalion chief. No one was in the home, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Glass.
Olsen said it took 20 firefighters about 30 minutes to get the blaze under control. "There were so many lightning strikes in this same area, I'm surprised we didn't have more of these," said Capt. Bob Olschesky.
When firefighters first arrived, they attached a hose to a hydrant, which immediately tipped over. The hydrant had apparently been knocked over sometime earlier by a motorist who simply set it upright rather than reporting it, said Fire Lt. Dennis Steadman. He said, however, that the errant hydrant did not delay the attack on the fire. "It was just an inconvenience."
Minor flooding affected intersections - nearly a foot of water in some areas of downtown Salt Lake City and 6 inches along Ogden's Riverdale Road. And the pressures of the heavy drainage flows blew off manhole covers and made for mini geysers along portions of 1300 South in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake County Commissioner Randy Horiuchi said the storm drainage system handled most of the downpour, while county crews spent Wednesday patching trouble spots along Mill and Red Butte creeks. "We've had 50- to 100-year rains," he said.
Horiuchi said he saw a manhole cover literally blown off the street because of the force of underground water.
And he asked that homeowners stop dumping tree limbs and other debris into the creeks. He said the debris is clogging grades and accumulating under bridges.
Homeowners in some areas of Kaysville and Layton reported basement flooding, according to police dispatchers. Meanwhile, the Layton police department - located in the lower floor of one of the city's two facilities in its new $7 million municipal complex - was also flooded.
Water began running through the Layton police complex shortly after 3 p.m., Sgt. Dale May reported. At times, the water reached depths of several inches.
"I don't know exactly how deep it was, but if you wanted to go fishing, you could have," May said.
The 0.75 inches of rain recorded at Salt Lake International Airport brings the monthly precipitation level to 2.03 inches - that's 137 percent of the 1.47 inches normal for May. The year-to-date total - with the water year starting Oct. 1 - is approaching the norm, with the current 10.06-inch reading 90 percent of the 11.16-inch average.
- Staff writers Brent Israelsen, Kara Leigh Hamilton, Don Rosebrock and JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells contributed to this story.
Wet, wet, wet
Precipitation totals, in inches, from Wednesday's stormKearns 1.88
Ogden bench 1.40
Sugar House 1.33
S.L. Airport .75