Flooding reminds Box Elder residents of 2017 troubles

Mar 16, 2023, 6:16 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 4:18 pm

TREMONTON, Utah — Homeowners in Box Elder County said they’re seeing some harsh reminders of the flooding in 2017 as they watched similar scenes unfold Wednesday night.

They say the water is coming in faster and heavier this week.

The trees and farmland in the Malad River area were dry or frozen not that long ago but it has changed drastically.

Amanda Mikesell lived through it in 2017 when her street was filled with water.

“It happened so fast,” she said. “It was way faster and way more intense this time.”

So was the response. Teams of neighbors trained in how to move and contain the waters.

“We were all out here just getting sandbags and had people around helping get sandbags in here and just do what we could,” Mikesell said.

Pumps and sandbags helped protect the homes of newcomers like Trevor Morgan.

“The water just started flowing in,” Morgan said. “Like here, it was bubbling up through our drain.”

In the end, Morgan said he got about two inches of it in his garage but it could have been worse.

“Everybody was up through the night, checking on things and making sure the water wasn’t coming back up,” he said.

By noon Thursday, they made some solid progress in clearing the street. However, culverts continued to run to the brim.

Nicole Ainsworth said she and her husband kept an eye on it through Wednesday afternoon.

“Just kept coming,” she said. “Watching the water just kind of rise and rise. And next thing we know we’re scrambling.”

She said, “I think what squashed us over here was the snowbank. You know, it just kind of broke all at once because of how warm it was yesterday.”

Luckily the water slowed as it froze overnight. Tremonton City greatly increased the size of the storm drain back after the 2017 floods.

Residents said it’s clearly not enough.

They’d like this to become a distant memory, not another practice run.

“It just really sucks,” Mikesell said. “But what do you do? We just do what we can and we’re thankful for all the help.”

Tremonton Mayor Lyle Holmgren said city engineers are looking at possibly adding a berm to redirect some of that water.

County Commissioner Stan Summers says overall, so far this flood is not as widespread as in 2017, though those impacted seem to be getting it worse.

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Flooding reminds Box Elder residents of 2017 troubles