Recent rain bringing new flooding fears to residents in Stockton

Jul 15, 2022, 8:54 PM | Updated: May 21, 2023, 4:38 pm

STOCKTON, Utah — As Mother Nature continues to help firefighters on the Jacob City Fire in Tooele County, it also presents a new concern for residents — flooding.

“We realize there is fire, we realize there is floods, we’re really not in charge, Mother Nature is and we’re just doing our best to survive in that,” said Lonnie Bates, who lives in Soldier Canyon.

In August 2021, the Bates’ home was one of several flooded when nearby Soldier Creek overran its banks during a storm. The couple had only minutes to prepare as water crashed into their basement.

“The water was seven feet deep and the mud was three feet deep.”

The flash flood, described by Bates as 15 minutes of chaos, destroyed the family’s basement.

“The only thing we could do was hold onto each other and pray, that’s all we could do.”

It’s taken the Bates a year to recover. But in that time, they’ve updated their home with ways to protect it from flooding. They’ve added flood covers to their basement windows and built a large cement diversion wall behind their home.

“It’s 180-feet long, and it’s six foot high above the footing.”

With the Jacob City Fire still burning, and a fresh burn scar visible on the hillside above their home, the timing on the wall couldn’t have been better.

“The potential right now is bad — they burned off all the brush, so the potential for floods is a lot higher than it was before.”

With each rainstorm passing over the burn scar, Bates hopes his efforts will be enough to protect his home.

Fire managers, city officials and state hydrologists are holding a meeting for Stockton residents at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Stockton Baseball Field. Residents are encouraged to attend for an update on the fire and what is being done to minimize the flood risk to residents in the area.

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Recent rain bringing new flooding fears to residents in Stockton