Some Utah communities are now worrying about floods
WEBER COUNTY, Utah — The snow seems to keep on coming, and that’s why many communities in Utah are already preparing for the chance of a busy flooding season.
Weber County leaders are already taking some steps to manage the onslaught of water.
They have tools like the Little Weber Channel, which can take about 1,000 cubic feet per second off the Weber River, but several departments are working together to see what else they can do to manage the runoff.
We know it’s all going to melt, but how quickly is really what has people like Weber County Engineer Gary Myers, keeping a close watch.
Snowpack levels are already well above average. More are more than 150% of normal. Myers said our now very low reservoirs will be put to good use.
“The challenge there is once the reservoir is full, it can only do so much to help you in controlling that water,” Myers said.
That’s the piece engineers are worried about. The western edge of Weber County saw a lot of flooding in 2011 and again in 2017.
That’s why road crews right now are keeping an eye on area drainage systems to make sure they’re as clear as possible.
“You get a lot of sedimentation as a lot of small, fine materials wash down, and the it deposits and then you start to get vegetation growth,” Myers explained.
To monitor the many canals and culverts, engineers are using what are normally search and rescue drones, on loan from the Sheriff’s Office.
“Gives us a bird’s eye view of what’s happening and then we can look for potential problem spots or areas that might need to be cleaned,” Myers said.
Weber County Engineering, the roads department, and emergency management are all working together to do what they can in the weeks ahead of our spring runoff.
The hope is that the change in season will come gradually.
Myers said, “The key factor is going to be what’s mother nature going to do for us right? And in 2017, back in May, the switch flipped and it warmed up significantly and it stayed warms.”
As we wait for the snow to thaw, Myers says homeowners can take a look at the drainage systems around their property like rain gutters, storm drains, and canals, and make sure everything’s clear.
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