A combination of warm weather, snow melt and heavy rainfall triggered flooding that left nearly two dozen northern Utah homes awash in water, and in some cases raw sewage, by Thursday morning.
Weber County sheriff's Sgt. Scott Johnson summed up the overnight ordeal succinctly: "It's a mess."
But he added: "Everything's under control and now the cleanup and compiling damage reports get under way."
Johnson said floodwaters and backed up sewage hit 22 homes the hardest -- 12 Lakeside Condos units and 10 houses -- in the Eden and Wolf Creek areas. In some cases, residences were left with inches-thick carpets of muck, while others endured up to a foot of water pouring into their basements.
"Sewers backed up, the rain was heavy and there was excessive groundwater [from snow melt] to deal with," Johnson said.
The flooding was short-lived and not widespread, but it could happen again with heavy rains, said Brian McInerney, hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
"What this tells us," he said, "is that soils are saturated. "If we get rain, we could see more basement flooding."
Adding to the potential for flooding are low elevation snowpack and a wet weather pattern that is predicted to continue.
Areas in Weber and Morgan counties received 1.3 inches of rain in a six-hour period late Wednesday and early Thursday, McInerney said.
Along with law enforcement personnel and firefighters, Weber County's emergency response included jail officers and 20 work-release inmates. "They did everything that was needed, from sandbagging to shoveling," Johnson said.
In neighboring Morgan County, while two homes were reported to have flood damage, law officers were primarily busy with traffic control challenges brought on as rivers and creeks slopped over their banks. Morgan County Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Edwards said the worst of the flooding occurred along Morgan Valley Drive near the town of Peterson.
"We had water and debris all over the roadway. We'll be continuing with the cleanup through [Thursday]," he said.
The situation began to deteriorate rapidly after an inch or more of rain began to fall late Wednesday afternoon. The rain tapered off by 10 p.m.
The National Weather Service predicted more precipitation through Thursday, though it appeared Weber County would be spared.
A winter weather advisory was in effect through 4 p.m. for a swath of the state stretching from Salt Lake City in the north running south through Provo, Nephi and Richfield and southeast to Green River. Snow accumulations of up to 5 inches were forecast for the mountains.
-Christopher Smart contributed to this report
Floodwaters, backed up sewage hit 22 Utah homes