LOCAL NEWS

Heavy rains lead to flooding in Highland neighborhood as community leaders eye weeks ahead

Mar 15, 2023, 10:23 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 4:18 pm

HIGHLAND, Utah — Crews worked most of the day Wednesday to place sandbags and divert flood waters in one neighborhood after heavy rains melted snow and sent it gushing into a basement and onto two neighboring properties.

“All the water was coming toward a couple of homes here,” Highland city administrator Erin Wells said as she stood next to one of the properties on Ponce De Leon Drive. “We’ve quickly tried to divert the water away from the homes and got a lot of volunteers out here, got our crews out here to get sandbags and new channels dug.”

Summer Anderson said flood waters started streaming into her family’s basement Tuesday.

“My brother woke up and there was just tons of water filled up in his room,” Anderson told KSL TV. “It’s everywhere.”

Fans were still working overtime to dry out the basement which still had patches of standing water as of Wednesday evening.

“We had to build this whole pathway out, like there’s just so many people here, these fans non-stop—like we can’t fall asleep,” Anderson said. “It’s crazy. My house looks like a construction site.”

Wells acknowledged the city was to some degree caught by surprise by the flooding high on the Highland bench.

“We do have a flooding prevention plan but honestly the geography of Highland—we weren’t expecting this until about mid-April,” Wells said. “It did catch us a bit earlier than we were anticipating and so this is the first one and we’ve got plans in place to help prevent it as we move forward in the season.”

The neighborhood flooding issue came as leaders from Highland, American Fork, the U.S. Forest Service, Utah Department of Transportation, Utah County Sheriff’s Office and other entities met Wednesday afternoon to discuss preparations for runoff out of American Fork Canyon.

“Even if it stops snowing today, we have 200 percent of our peak snowpack up there,” American Fork Irrigation president and water master Ernie John said during an interview. “We’ve got to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

John said the worst-case scenario would be continuing to add snow at higher elevations until June 1 and then immediately transitioning to dry conditions and 90 degree temperatures, while a “good case scenario” would entail a “nice, cool spring” until June.

Regardless, he said surrounding communities and responsible agencies aimed to be prepared.

“We’re going to pre-position equipment in various spots along the river,” he said. “Once we get to high water, we will man points from the mouth of American Fork Canyon on down, 24-7.”

He said crews also had to prioritize eliminating multiple logjams over the next 4 to 6 weeks.

“We’ve got some big logjams up American Fork Canyon that we’ve got to deal with so we’re pooling all the agencies together to see what the best way is to deal with them,” John said. “I’m talking half-the-size-of-a-home-sized logjams. That’s big.”

High up on the hillside, the Andersons said they didn’t expect runoff flooding to affect their home.

They expressed gratitude to all the workers and volunteers who helped, while saying they hoped they would be finished with flooding around their property.

“Who thinks this would happen?” Anderson said. “Hopefully we’re done.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Salt Lake City officials issued a new warning to escalate the ozone threat in the Salt Lake Valley ...

Andrew Adams

SLC issues summer pollution warning, which experts say is more difficult to escape than the heat

Salt Lake City issued a new warning for ozone pollution levels amid rising temperatures that are supposed to keep going up.

4 minutes ago

Wyoming highway, Teton Pass...

Mary Culbertson

Wyoming-bound tourists should keep their plans amid Teton Pass failure, officials say

Wyoming officials are encouraging tourists and Wyoming-bound travelers not to cancel their plans amid a crucial highway that experienced "catastrophic" failure.

2 hours ago

Delegates from Utah listen to an employee of Carbfix on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Mike Anderson, K...

Mike Anderson

Utah delegation explores Iceland’s example in carbon capture to reduce emissions

A Utah delegation is looking to Iceland to help pave the way for a cleaner energy future for the state. 

5 hours ago

A horde of grasshoppers is invading several homes and lawns of Springville residents on June 12, 20...

Shelby Lofton

‘We need birds:’ Grasshoppers invade parts of Springville

Some Springville residents are being overwhelmed by a recent invasion of grasshoppers that are eating gardens and lawns.

5 hours ago

Courtney Lynne Townsend was last seen on Nov. 16, 2023. (St. George Police Department)...

Mary Culbertson

Body found in Kane County confirmed to be missing St. George woman

Human remains found in Kane County were confirmed by the Utah medical examiner to be those of a missing St. George woman.

5 hours ago

Cedar City police said one person was hospitalized and another was taken into custody following an ...

Mark Jones and Michael Houck, KSL TV

1 person in custody, another hospitalized in alleged road rage incident in Cedar City

Cedar City police said one person was hospitalized and another was taken into custody following an alleged road rage incident on Wednesday afternoon.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Heavy rains lead to flooding in Highland neighborhood as community leaders eye weeks ahead