January 14, 2005 was a day that will never be forgotten in Southern Utah.

And though it was 18 years ago, many folks who live in Washington County now and also lived here back then are noticing similarities to the two times.

In 2005, it was a snowy winter in the mountains above St. George, creating a monumental snowpack. Then things warmed up a bit and the rains started to fall.

It rained. And rained. And rained.

And as if to say, "Human beings, Mother Nature will always have the final say." And the flood waters began to rise.

It was scary times for a number of families whose houses fell into the Santa Clara River. The rest of us watched in sympathy and sadness as the beautiful homes came down. We also feared for ourselves as city officials warned that the water supply in St. George may be soon compromised.

I lived in Washington City at the time, a long way from the Santa Clara River's devastating rampage. But as a youngish homeowner, I remember feeling the great sense of loss as those houses washed away.

Questions flooded my mind: Is everyone OK? Were they able to get any of their personal belongings out? Will insurance cover the losses? Where will they live? How do you recover from something like this, financially and emotionally? How do you explain this to your children?

So many questions and, quite frankly, no answers at all.

I had a friend who lived across the street from the houses that collapsed. I'll never forget his answer when I asked him if he was worried.

"It's just a house, right?" he said. "But they tell us if it keeps raining, our houses may be the next to fall."

Fortunately, the rains did finally stop and the the river subsided. My friend's house survived.

But as we think about the warm spring to come, and as these rains begin to fall here in Dixie, I can't help but wonder if it may happen again.

As I've learned from experience, these "once-in-a-lifetime" floods come around a lot more often than that.

Screen shots courtesy TruTV, The Weather Channel and J Maxfield.

2005 St. George flood

Houses fall into the Santa Clara River

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