SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert is prepared to declare a state of emergency in Southern Utah, where floodwaters have washed out at least one bridge and forced the evacuation of the Rockville City.
"We are closely monitoring the activity in Southern Utah, and praying for the safety of all of the area's residents," Governor Herbert said. "The state's emergency responders, as well as many other agency directors, are working directly with local officials and are providing support in every way possible."
Representatives from the Utah Department of Public Safety's Division of Homeland Security are on site, and are working closely with local emergency managers to begin coordination of state resources, if the State is called upon to do so.
At this time, required benchmarks have not been reached, nor has Governor Herbert received a request from local authorities to declare an official state of emergency. He is prepared to quickly respond to that request, should it arrive.
The Utah Department of Natural Resources has sent dam engineers to assess the safety of dams in the area, particularly the Trees Ranch Dam on the Virgin River.
And the state's Department of Environmental Quality, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Highway Patrol are also engaged in Southern Utah, doing everything from monitoring water quality to diverting water and removing water from the roadways to provide emergency assistance and supporting local law enforcement.
"This community has been tested before, and is responding as best as can be expected under these difficult circumstances," the Governor said. "My office has been in contact with local officials, and they know that the State stands ready to do anything we can to help."