Approaching Storms Raise Concerns For Flooding Below Burn Scars

Jan 15, 2019, 10:20 PM | Updated: Jan 16, 2019, 4:48 pm

UTAH COUNTY, Utah – It’s no surprise in Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills that the fire danger is low today. But there is another danger from a scarred landscape, which has the threat of flash flooding or mudslides, just one heavy rainstorm away.

“When they had the storms that came through in early October, there was some real concern that there would be major problems, we were fortunate what happened was relatively minor,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon, with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

The threat of that October storm, just as the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires were finally extinguished, may have helped residents to be better prepared for potential flooding in the future.

“It could still be a couple of years before the window begins to close and you don’t have to worry about it as much about adverse weather events, even in the winter time, you could have debris flows or flooding,” Cannon added.

The high elevations would have to receive heavy rain, which could also melt the snowpack, to trigger a serious flooding event now.

This week’s approaching storm will likely result in more snowfall in the vulnerable areas.

Residents, who live along Loafer Canyon Drive, have moved their sandbags off the curb, so the snowplows can do their job this winter. But those sandbags are nearby in case they are needed for a flash flood.

But even though we’re still in the middle of the winter, in just several more weeks, spring storms and runoff could pose a real threat, which Utah County emergency managers say they are prepared for, working alongside cities and state agencies, according to Sgt. Cannon.

“We know who the players are, we worked together in the fall on the fires and we will be ready to respond if something happens.”

KSL 5 TV Live

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Approaching Storms Raise Concerns For Flooding Below Burn Scars