Lehi Prepares For Potential Flooding Along Dry Creek
LEHI, Utah – As temperatures climb and snow continues to melt, Lehi City is warning neighbors who live near Dry Creek of the threat of flooding.
“We hope it doesn’t come to the point that we need to evacuate people from their homes,” said Cameron Boyle, Lehi’s Assistant City Administrator
The areas at risk include Dry Creek Park, which closed down because of the threat, and the neighborhood around Lehi Elementary School.
“It’s us vs. nature,” said Bryan Stewart, who lives next to the school on 600 North.
Warmer weather means more snowmelt into dry creek which runs through #Lehi. In preparation for high waters, the city is opening its Emergency Operations Center beginning at 6 tonight. @KSL5TV #flooding pic.twitter.com/emij0uDXgH
— Matt Rascon (@MattRasconNews) June 13, 2019
With sandbags as a backdrop, and hot dogs and smiles all around, Stewart and his neighbors gathered for a barbecue as they waited and watched for the threat of flooding to their homes.
“It came here and went straight into here,” Stewart said in his backyard, motioning toward the entrance to his basement.
He and his family moved two doors down from Dry Creek only six months ago. And they’re still dealing with damage from last month’s flood that spilled into their basement.
“There was no time to cry,” Stewart said. “It was time to save our stuff.”
“Historically these areas flood,” Boyle said. And with temperatures reaching the mid 80s, “that means the snow is melting pretty fast up there.”
AREAS TO AVOID:
Dry Creek Park is closed as we expect high waters tonight. Please avoid the area, stay out of the water, and keep a close eye on children and pets. pic.twitter.com/mnkck5UUMc
— Lehi City (@LehiCity) June 13, 2019
The city opened its Emergency Operations Center on Thursday at 6 p.m. to be prepared to respond to potential flooding.
Typically water levels peak between 2 and 4 a.m.
Boyle says the city’s two main concerns are keeping people away from the rising water and protecting properties in flood plain areas.
“It looks like fun,” Boyle said, speaking of the temptation to enjoy the rising water with things like canoes, “but you get caught in that water and it can be fatal.”
The city is providing sandbags at the Public Works department. In areas like Stewart’s street, neighbor’s helped build sandbag walls around one another’s homes.
“You can just go around and you’ll see sandbags everywhere … all trying to save their homes.”
Still, on Thursday, not even the threat of flooding could dampen the spirits of Stewart and his neighbors enjoying their block party.
“A bad thing doesn’t have to be bad,” he said. “It can actually be positive.”
They’re used to the threat of flooding and prepare for the worst, while hoping the Dry Creek at least comes close to living up to its name.
“There’s no long-term solution,” Stewart said. “We hope that happens. But right now it’s, ‘How can we stop the water from getting into our home?’ and this is what we have to do right now.”
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