Family In Utah County Dealing With After Effects Of Massive Flooding

Jul 30, 2019, 6:09 PM | Updated: 8:44 pm

BIRDSEYE, Utah – You kind of get to know a place after a while.

Especially when you decide to make it your home.

“Yeah, I’ve been coming up here since I was three years old,” said Randy Butler, while looking at the trees and mountains along Bennie Creek Road in Utah County.

However, even though he built his home along the road, he says he barely recognizes the land after the flood came through this part of Utah County.

“It’s totally different,” said Butler. “The fire changed it dramatically. But then this has taken it one step further.”

Last Friday, during a heavy rainstorm on that wildfire burn scar, a flood of water with root-ripping force came down the mountain.

It brought enough debris with it to cover memories of what it looked like before.

“You can see the water marks up on the trees. It’s devastating,” said Butler.

That flood also damaged their property.

“We lost four fences, all of our boundary fences and two in between,” said Donna Butler, who is Randy’s wife. “Our ponds are full of muck and logs and rocks. We lost our culinary water and our whole tank.”

The Butlers also lost a lot of grazing land for themselves, other family members, and friends they lease land to.

Mud covers a lot of the land where there was grass just a few days ago.

They also lost a handful of cows from the flood, as well as diversion dams to irrigate their land.

“And because they’re gone, we’re unable to irrigate, so all of our pastures will dry up now. We’ll have to repair those and hopefully we can get it back going next year,” said Randy Butler. “That’s going to be tens of thousands of dollars to replace those.”

The road behind their home, Bennie Creek Road, is also now full of rocks and trees that were brought down the mountain with the water.

“No, there’s nothing we can do about that. You know? It’s just we got a lot of rocks where we used to have pastures,” said Randy Butler.

The Butlers say they are amazed at what the flood did, but they’re also disappointed on why they believe it happened.

“We’re all tired of paying for it. For the mistake of someone else,” said Donna Butler. “And we have to pay the bill.”

Many in the area believe the lightning-caused Pole Creek Fire could’ve been extinguished quick when it began burning last September.

Instead, the Forest Service allowed it to burn in order to reduce the amount of dead wood and heavy brush in the forest.

The plan was to manage the fire.

However, heavy winds pushed the fire out of control, creating the burn scar, that allowed the flooding.

“If the shoe was on the other foot and I created this much damage on the forest, I would be held liable,” said Randy Butler. “And the forest (service) has created all of this, I believe they should have some liability.”

For now, the Butlers are fixing the damage and paying out of their own pockets for repairs.

“It’ll take us a year or so to get our things back in order, I would imagine. And that’s if it doesn’t rain again,” said Randy Butler with a laugh.

It’s something they will now worry about every time it rains.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Photo courtesy: @STEMUtah/Twitter)...

Kicking off Utah’s STEMfest with Casey Scott

Thousands of students are getting ready for this year's Utah STEMfest in Sandy.
14 hours ago
Tamara Vaifanua

Cedar City to honor beloved teacher with a park

There’s an effort underway in Cedar City to honor a beloved teacher who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year.
14 hours ago
(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Suspect dead, officer injured after South Salt Lake shooting

One person is dead and a South Salt Lake police officer was injured after shots were fired early Tuesday morning.
14 hours ago
Domestic violence organizations saw a significant increase in request for shelter during the pandem...
Ashley Moser

Advocates encourage victims, perpetrators to seek help as domestic violence increases

Domestic violence organizations saw a significant increase in requests for shelter during the pandemic.
2 days ago
UDOT says it spend over $1.5 million on fixing potholes in the last fiscal year, FY 2022....
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Submitting a claim to the government for pothole damage? Good luck with that

A pothole can do serious and expensive damage to your car. But as Get Gephardt found, if you hit a bad spot on a Utah road, don’t expect the city or state to rush to pay for your repairs.
2 days ago
We All Belong logo....
Debbie Worthen

Parent advocacy group celebrates kids with special needs

A rally in Draper brings hundred of people together to celebrate inclusion for kids with special needs.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Family In Utah County Dealing With After Effects Of Massive Flooding