Draper City leaders say flooded homes caused by issues with privately owned drain systems

Jan 11, 2023, 6:10 PM | Updated: 6:13 pm

DRAPER, Utah — The Draper City mayor said around 30 houses had been impacted by flooding after heavy rains, and the city’s storm drainage system wasn’t to blame.

Draper Mayor Troy Walker said the city’s public works department looked at its storm drain system and found no issues or indications it was overwhelmed.

“Some of these subdivisions have private drain systems that are designed specifically for groundwater,” Walker explained. “We have stormwater which is surface runoff, and our system is operating correctly.”

He said the neighborhoods impacted by the flooding are in areas where the water table is typically higher.

“These neighborhoods have these systems that are designed to take the groundwater out. It’s the way they were able to get basements,” Walker said. “These are areas where you wouldn’t normally let them build basements, but they engineer around the groundwater, and as long as they maintain the systems, they work, but in this case, some of them are old, not maintained, and overwhelmed.”

Most people noticed their basements and yards had flooded early Tuesday morning.

Cami Hendrickson said she had three to four inches of water in her newly renovated basement. It’s where her kids’ bedrooms are.

“The whole floor level was completely destroyed, and you don’t know, with the rain and snow coming again, if we’re going to get it again,” Hendrickson said.

She said all of her furniture, flooring, and valuables were damaged. Those items have been replaced with shop vacs, humidifiers, pumps, and hoses.

“Everything’s just ruined on the bottoms. All floorboards are all warped. The walls that are nice walls that are just redone. Everything’s warped on the bottom here,” Hendrickson said.

Her family installed sump pumps, but she said it’s still gushing out of the walls and the rock in her backyard.

“The scariest part is, we can’t stop the water,” she said.

Hendrickson said she and her neighbors think something is blocking the drainage system.

“We need help fighting this because this is not a one-home problem,” she expressed. “This is a neighborhood problem. I don’t know what needs to be done, but something. I sure hope they’re out there digging and trying to find where the block is.”

Walker said the city is working on identifying where these privately owned drainage systems are and where the problem might be coming from.

“Their HOA’s supposed to maintain it, so that’s where they need to go,” Walker explained.

He said the area has been dry for years, and that’s why many homeowners haven’t seen the water table issue.

“It’s like having two storms at once because the rain melted the wet snow and just turned it into a whole bunch of water,” Walker said.

He said the city has three dumpsters moving around to help with cleanup.

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Draper City leaders say flooded homes caused by issues with privately owned drain systems