Homes evacuated, damaged after flooding in Kaysville

Apr 12, 2023, 5:27 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 11:45 am

KAYSVILLE, Utah — Kaysville City’s public works director believes the devastating flooding and millions of dollars in damage at the Orchard Ridge Community may have been caused by a blockage in the drainage system.

“Until we are able to stabilize things we won’t know exactly what happened, but right now the initial reports are that we got a storm drain got plugged overnight,” Josh Belnap, the public works director said. “We’ve been watching it closely on a daily bases and it seemed good, continual function. Something last night happen don’t know exactly what or what happened.”

The National Weather Service of Salt Lake told KSL TV no stream or river has reached flood stage and that these flood reports are the result of infrastructure failing: including the retention basin in Wasatch Hollow and overwhelmed storm drains in Kaysville.

NWS is monitoring Emigration Creek, the Weber River and Silver Creek in the Heber area for flooding and said it’s a matter of “when not if.”

For Ivory Homes in Kaysville, the water caused tens of millions of dollars’ worth of damage. Many of the homes just weeks away from being finished.

“Just too much water in the wrong places and it starts right here,” Michael Parker the vice president of strategy with Ivory Homes said.

He showed KSL TV exactly where it all started. A small creek at the top of the hill above the homes where it overflowed and sent a river of water down the street. That water ate away dirt and caused huge sink holes, some of them up to 12 feet deep.

“This creek has been dry for the last four years,” he said. Parker says this all had to do with the engineering of the drainage system before they arrived, and that’s why he doesn’t believe they are to blame.

“We don’t feel like we are in a position of fault currently and that something happened. That debris has come into our system and caused a huge failure,” he said. “I’m confident in our guys and the infrastructure they put in, in hundreds of neighborhoods across the state. We’ve got to work with homeowners and the city because of someone not seeing ahead.”

Ivory Homes released a statement about the flooding saying they were working, “arm in arm with the Kaysville City until the situation is resolved.”

“We’re trying to divert it from the homes, you can see what happened down there,” says Gary Jones, who spearheaded a volunteer army in this Kaysville neighborhood. “At this point, we’re just trying to shore up the sandbag river in the street, if you will, as much as we can.”

Kate Harris her family just moved in to their brand new house *last night after a long wait. Now they are evacuated, until further notice.

“I’ve been told it will be months,” Harris tells KSLTV. “I don’t think I’m mentally capable of being out there right now.” She says as she looks at volunteers filling up sandbags.

Jones says he and the other volunteers are ready to help out any of those who have been evacuated. “At this point, we’re not sure that they have to be evacuated, but if they do, all of the neighbors around here and the church is going to help take care of it.”

But Belnap says it’s way too early to start pointing fingers. “I think everybody’s natural tendency is to [point fingers]. I don’t even think we are to the point where we can best guess what caused it. Who done it.”

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Homes evacuated, damaged after flooding in Kaysville