Homeowners prepare sandbags as snow starts to melt

Mar 9, 2023, 7:44 PM | Updated: 7:44 pm

WELLSVILLE, Utah — Right now, people in Wellsville are filling up sandbags made available by the city.

They’re calling it a sandbag filling party, though the likely basement flooding for some is nothing to get excited about.

There are similar scenes across the Cache Valley today, as people are doing what they can to prevent and control some of the water flow into their homes.

Cache County opened up a gravel pile this morning, as homeowners came and filled their own sandbags.

Cheryl and Wayne Moore say they have snow piles built up to around seven feet in their yard up Smithfield canyon.

“We have had concerns about flooding, but we have been able to take care of it without any problems. But this is so much more snow that we’ve ever ever had before, and we’ve been here 33 years,” Cheryl said.

They’re working to set up sandbags at their homes, and at a neighbor’s home. They live right along Summit Creek, where the water is at a steady flow. Nothing scary now, but they want to be ready for when that gets stronger.`

Even if this is a gradual warm up, people are concerned about the large amounts of snow they’ve got piled up, as the water is already starting to flow along many of our streams.

“There’s a ton of snow. I have places that it’s seven, eight feet high up there,” Cheryl said. “We’re going to go home and place them around our window wells, take tarps, put the tarps down so as everything melts, hopefully we’re directing it in the trenches we’ve already made.”

They’re starting by laying down bags for their next-door neighbor, who lives right next to Summit Creek.

“If it goes past my house, it’s going to go down to their house and flood them.”

Box Elder County Emergency Manager, Mark Millett, believes there’s no reason to be concerned about disaster-level flooding right now.

“If it warms up for a couple of days and then it cools back down and then it comes at us again a few days later, that’s what we want to do,” he said.

Management teams like his in nearby counties say they will be on standby to help public works crews go where needed, expanding that coverage if things get worse.

Though for homeowners like the Moore’s, basement flooding can seem like much more than a minor nuisance.

Millett says it’s important to remember we don’t have saturated soils like we did in 2017.

And ideally, if we can warm up a bit now, it’s a good thing. Just as long as we get another cool off shortly after to make this all a gradual process.

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Homeowners prepare sandbags as snow starts to melt