Storm Hits Nevada, Arizona and Utah

The torrential storm that caused the deadly mudslide in California is leaving a path of destruction in other Western states, bringing flooding that has gobbled up houses and roads and forced hundreds of people to flee.

The heaviest flooding was concentrated in the area where Nevada, Arizona and Utah meet. No serious injuries were reported, but one man was missing in Utah. A skier was missing for a third day in the deep snow of rugged western Colorado.

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) on Wednesday surveyed the devastation caused by a huge mudslide that killed at least 10 people in the town of La Conchita. The overall death toll in California from the storms is 28 people.

Floodwaters from a swollen river rose in this small Nevada town about 50 miles from Las Vegas on Wednesday, even as evacuated residents started returning home.

An estimated 100 homes were flooded and 350 had been evacuated in the Overton area. A police helicopter had to rescue five people, including two children, when they became trapped by rising water.

In Utah, Jenny Olsen tuned into the news to watch the home she and her husband had inhabited since September fall into the Santa Clara River (search). The home was one of five on a cul-de-sac devoured by the record floodwaters that have ravaged southern Utah since Monday.

"When I saw it I couldn't believe it. Still can't," Jenny Olsen said Wednesday from a St. George hotel room. "We thought we might lose the back yard. We never thought that the whole house would go. We lost everything."

As the storm moved east, it triggered blizzard or near-blizzard conditions in North Dakota; a blizzard warning was posted for some areas and a winter storm warning covered the rest of the state. Forecasters said wind chill factors fell to 30 below zero — and were to drop as low as 50 below overnight — in some spots.

North Dakota ranchers took precautions to get their livestock out of the wind and fed them a little extra to stay warm; grocery shoppers stocked up on soda, bread, chips and milk.

"Those are the staple items that everybody's taking home just in case they're going to be home a little longer," said Jason Bossert, store director of West Fargo's Sunmart.

The National Weather Service (search) said Wednesday it will be the "flood of record" for the Santa Clara River. At its peak, the river was nearly 17 feet deep; it is normally 5 feet deep.

Emergency officials sent 45 tons of sand, 2,000 sandbags and other assistance to Overton. Officials of Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, had declared an emergency in response to the flooding.

Overton resident Melanie Vallet said her family fled early Wednesday when water reached their front door.

"The family, the dogs, the chickens — everyone's safe," Vallet said.

Roaring waters also snatched 21 parked freight cars from a nearby Union Pacific train, said company spokesman John Bromley. One car was carrying appliances and the rest were empty.

In Arizona, some residents started returning home to the Beaver Dam area in the far northwestern corner of the state as the sky cleared, but getting there was tricky.

An 80-foot stretch of the main road had been washed out and emergency crews were at work Wednesday grading a 22-mile-long detour along a dirt back road for the area's 1,400 residents. Electricity, phones, drinking water and sewers had been severed in parts of the community.

"I'm just glad that no one's been injured so far," said resident Linda Whittier, 55. She and her husband spent Tuesday night at a casino in nearby Mesquite, Nev., that donated rooms for flood refugees.

Harold Whittier, 58, said that before they left Beaver Dam he saw the high water destroy one house.

"I heard it go ka-boom, and the roof was floating," Harold Whittier said.

The flooding damaged or destroyed 22 homes in Beaver Dam and nearby Littlefield, said Jennifer McNally, a county health official.

Across Arizona, estimates of storm-related damages exceeded $6 million, a state emergency management spokeswoman said.

In Nevada, 82-year-old evacuee William Jarvis brought his recliner and an oxygen tank with him to a local shelter.

"It's an adventure," he said. "It's something to write in the history books."