MYTON, Utah — People in Duchesne County are filling sandbags and stacking them along parts of the Duchesne River, which is under a flood warning for the next several days.
The flood warning extends from the community of Hanna, Utah, northwest of Duchesne, down to Myton, east of Duchesne.
Volunteers in Myton showed up to the American Legion hall to fill hundreds of sandbags.
The bags were trucked just down the street to the riverbank.
Early Wednesday evening, Brad Gingell stood by himself on a flatbed trailer, heaving bags from one part of the trailer to the other.
He’d said he’d been working alone the whole day, slowly stacking the bags a few feet away from the rising waters.
Around 6:15 p.m., help arrived.
“Morning, gentlemen!” Gingell chirped, as a group of boys and men of different ages walked up.
He began to give orders on what bags to stack where.
“And then we’ll set a bag on top, and then one down inside to hold the plastic down,” he said, outlining his strategy.
It’s not exactly science.
“It’s all guesswork,” Gingell said. But it’s the best he can do to brace his family’s home and property against the Duchesne River.
The Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office warned residents Wednesday afternoon that the river is expected to reach flood stage Thursday morning and will stay that way until early next week.
Brad said the dams at Starvation and Upper Stillwater reservoirs are expected to dump water downstream, though he expected them to release water on different days.
“If both of them go at the same time — we’ve never had that happen,” Brad said. “And so, we don’t know what to expect.”
What the line of sandbags are protecting, is near and dear to his family.
“This is my mom and dad’s house,” Brad explained. “It used to be grandma and grandpa’s… so, it’s been around a while.”
“About 115 years,” said Brad’s mother, Ila Rhae Gingell.
She lives there now. In 115 years, she said the water hasn’t reached the home. She’s confident it won’t this time, either.
“It’s not going to get us, I don’t think,” Ila Gingell said, with a chuckle.
With all the help they got Wednesday, and all the sandbags volunteers lined up — they hope the family home will be okay.
“We’re going to be prepared,” Brad Gingell said, adding, “And then we’ll go from there.”
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Some people in Summit County have started to get a little nervous about flooding now that warmer June temperatures are on the horizon.
Officials in Oakley and Park City have set up sandbags for residents to take if they feel the runoffs from this winter’s heavy snowfall will lead to flooding.
Dave Stewart, who has been living off the south fork of the Weber River in Oakley since the 1940s, said he’s looking forward to the warm temperatures — even if that means higher water levels.
“Last week we had snow and hail, but we’re kind of anxious for it to warm up and have summer,” he said. “It’s running fairly high right now, but it’s not up to what it can be.”
Others with similar living situations have been more thankful for this season’s cooler spring temperatures.
“The natural path that the river wants to take is right through our yard,” explained Karri Wintersteiger, who lives in Peoa. “When the river floods and the creek floods, we’re just kind of sitting there hoping we don’t get swallowed up.”
“I’m used to that, I’m used to that,” Stewart said. “We’ve lived here since I was a year old… Everybody’s kind of watching and crossing their fingers right now.”
Debbi Seaver, who lives in Park City, said she’s been happy to see the rivers with more water than usual.
“I would say this is flowing a lot more than normal,” she said. “I love it. Sometimes, by the end of the summer, it’s all dry and it starts looking yucky, so it’s wonderful to see it flowing. But not too much!”
Officials have urged people to make sure they don’t throw any trash or debris into nearby rivers to ensure they flow properly.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Rains will keep much of Utah wet for the next several days. With it comes the threat of localized flooding and property damage.
Jay Inglesby lives blocks away from the Jordan River and can’t help but worry about flooding.
“Please, no rain. Please, please,” Inglesby said.
In his basement, a waterline shows flooding from two years ago. While the former community council member put three coats of sealant down, his Shop-Vac stands ready.
“Yes, this is my lifesaver if you will,” he said.
The wet spring is already causing property damage across the Wasatch Front. Tiles on the side of a downtown condominium building fell down over the weekend. The property manager said it’s directly related to the heavy rain.
“There is always a risk of flooding if you live in a flood plain,” Salt Lake County Flood Control Director Kade Moncur said.
Moncur told FOX13 that flood damage can come from debris backing up the water — whether it’s in a river, a rain gutter or storm drain.
“A lot of flooding happens when something plugs up and it has nowhere to go, so the water comes up and floods around the road and causes damage,” Moncur said.
Inglesby has a neighbor also doing the right thing by making sure any water runs away from the basement. It’s also a good idea to double check for a flood insurance policy.
“It’s kind of a scary thing when you are not expecting it,” Inglesby said.
Information from the county about protecting property against flooding can be found here.
LEHI, Utah — Several homes in Lehi flooded Thursday night, and with more rain in the forecast and a lot of expected runoff, it could just be the beginning.
The Steele family home was one of those affected as Dry Creek overflowed that night.
“It’s really sad to see all of it,” Kaylene Steele said as she stood in front of his now wrecked basement.
Her home was one of just two that had flooded during a storm Thursday night. She woke up to a call in the middle of the night from a neighbor and friend saying their houses had flooded.
“I was sick. I was sick,” she said recalling the moment she first saw the water in her basement, filled to the top of the staircase.
A friend of the Steele family shows how deep the water was in the family’s basement.
Kaylene captured a photo of a family friend who jumped in the water to start placing pumps, the water nearly to the top of her stomach.
The water was powerful enough to knock over their washing machine.
Everything that was in the basement “got washed into one room. It looks like a giant mess in there,” Kaylene said.
Friday afternoon, inches of water still rested at the bottom of the Steeles’ basement as a series of pumps and hoses worked relentlessly to clear it out. Sadly, some damage can’t be undone.
“It’s all of my husband’s special things,” said Kaylene describing her husband’s game room and the collection he had spent years building.
“We have our china hutch with all of my special china, my mom’s wedding china,” she said. “It’s all gone.”
Now, still wading in water, they feel like the city of Lehi is partially to blame.
“I don’t think the city has mitigated everything up there as well as they could have upstream of us,” Kaylene said.
The Steele family home sits directly next to Dry Creek, one of the two main waterways that flow through Lehi.
But the city said that’s not the case, and that they had crews working throughout the night.
“It was actually from the excessive rain we had,” said Lehi Street Director Wade Allred. “Ultimately, what we had last night was more of a debris issue.”
Allred said the problem comes about when there are spring showers or heavy mountain runoff. Debris is brought down and subsequently clogs the waterways, forcing levels to rise and the water to flow over.
Last year Lehi underwent about $1.5 million in improvements, increasing the size of culverts to allow for better flow. But that doesn’t solve the problem.
“If the water can’t get to the ditch, it doesn’t matter how big your ditch is,” Allred said.
With more rain and runoff still ahead, the city fears debris could be a big issue along the Waste Ditch and Dry Creek, potentially leaving hundreds of homes vulnerable to flooding.
“There’s potential to have disaster,” Allred said.
“We’ll have guys from six to ten, ten to two and two to four, ultimately just cleaning out more debris, more tree branches and it will be a full-time job for the next few weeks,” he added.
While the Steele family waits for things to dry out, Kaylene was thankful it wasn’t worse.
“It’s pretty disheartening, but it’s just stuff, you know?” she said. “That’s how we get through it. We just keep saying, ‘It’s just stuff.’ We have our people, our kids are healthy, the dog is fine.”
The Steele family has a fundraising page to help cover the costs of damages, which can be found HERE.
The city asks that residents stay vigilant, especially during peak water levels at night, and to call them if they see any issues or flooding. Residents can also receive sandbags from the city’s water department.
LEHI, Utah — One of the first flooding incidents of the season hit Utah Thursday night as Dry Creek overflowed, flooding several homes in Lehi.
Lehi Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, tweeted a photo Friday of a woman standing in waist-deep water inside a Lehi home.
CERT trains private citizens with the necessary skills to handle disasters in their community when professional emergency response teams cannot meet the demand.
FOX 13 has a crew on the way to the scene. Watch FOX 13 News and fox13now.com for updates.
Courtesy Lehi CERT
HEBER CITY, Utah – At least two homes were damaged by water after a main broke in Heber City Wednesday.
One home sustained the brunt of the damage with a flooded basement, while the home next door sustained minor damage.
The break in the line has already been repaired, and crews are now filling in and repairing the road.
Det. Tammy Thacker, Heber City Police, said emergency managers from the city and county, along with personnel from other agencies, responded to place sandbags and divert the water from causing any more property damage.
The line was basically back to normal by 4 a.m., meaning most folks in this area slept through the entire incident.
In terms of why and where it happened, officials say they are still working on the cause.