Hundreds of Utahns help fill sandbags in Salt Lake County

Apr 15, 2023, 4:49 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 4:16 pm

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Hundreds of people spent Saturday morning filling sandbags at several volunteer sites throughout Utah.

The record snow has been causing flooding problems in many neighborhoods near Salt Lake City, prompting locals like Mike Allred and his family to help with flood prevention efforts.

“She’s having fun. She’s in the world’s largest sandbox for sure,” said Allred as he watched his daughter Braeya Allred play in the sand. “She is trying to really comprehend what is going on and where these bags are going, but she understands it’s going to help some people who need it.”

It is precisely why he wanted to bring her to Sugarhouse Park to teach her what it means to be part of a community.

“There is a ton of water,” he expressed. “We knew it was going to be a crazy season, so we wanted to come help where we can.”

Braeya Allred filling up a sandbag at Sugar House Park. (KSLTV/Mark Less)

Hundreds of volunteers showed up at the park to help fill sandbags. There were people shoveling dirt into bags, tying them, and then carrying them in a human chain to the parking lot, where a truck was taking them to another location.

So far, only three homes in Salt Lake City have flooded because of the runoff. However, with plenty of snow still in the mountains, there is a lot more water that still needs to come down.

“It’s just a chance to help out. The community would be out there helping if I needed it,” said Lance Sollid, who spent a good chunk of the morning loading sandbags into a wheelbarrow.

“We need this human power to show up, this community power, to help fill those bags, move them, and we’ll be taking them to staging areas to deploy when the runoff picks up again later this week,” added Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “This is what Salt Lakers are good at. We show up when there’s work to be done, and we get our hands dirty, and we get the job done.”

A similar event was held in Cottonwood Heights as many residents who needed sandbags came by to pick some up. Christian Carter is one of those volunteers who helped to fill 30,000 sandbags.

“I have been here a lot. I have been here for three days,” said Carter. “I just like seeing people working toward a common goal.”

Volunteers at Sugar House Park. (KSLTV/Mark Less) Volunteers at Sugar House Park. (KSLTV/Mark Less) Volunteers at Sugar House Park. (KSLTV/Mark Less) Volunteers in Cottonwood Heights.  (KSLTV/Mark Less) Volunteers in Cottonwood Heights.  (KSLTV/Mark Less)

Although Cottonwood Heights city leaders feel they’re prepared with areas that have flooded in the past, this year is different.

“One thing with this snowpack, there might be locations that we haven’t seen flooding in the past,” said Cottonwood Heights Mayor Mike Weichers.

It’s a big reason why cities and counties across Utah are storing as many sandbags as possible, as they believe runoff is just beginning.

“We’re hoping that Mother Nature cooperates,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “We’re prepared and ready to respond, and great people out working.”

KSL 5 TV Live


People walk in the rain in Salt Lake City on Aug. 22. More rain and lower temperatures are in the f...

Carter Williams,

Fall-like temperatures forecast for Utah before official season starts

Fall may begin Saturday, but it'll feel more like mid-season in parts of Utah over the next few days as a cold front passes through the state.

1 day ago

Crews work on flood mitigation in Eagle Mountain...

Brittany Tait

Eagle Mountain’s project to reduce flooding threat

After an unseasonably rainy spring, certain neighborhoods in Eagle Mountain witnessed multiple floods. 

2 days ago

A man skateboards with an umbrella as it rains in Salt Lake City on Aug. 22. Utah water officials s...

Carter Williams,

How impactful have this year’s monsoons been for Utah’s water supply?

Utah's monsoon season is slowly winding down, but not before leaving an impact on Utah's reservoirs in various ways.

7 days ago

This satellite photo from Planet Labs PBC shows flooding in Derna, Libya, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 202...

Samy Magdy and Yousef Murad

The flood death toll in eastern Libya’s city of Derna has surpassed 5,100, a health official says

DERNA, Libya (AP) — The death toll from flooding that hit the eastern Libyan city of Derna reached more than 5,000 and was expected to rise further, a local health official said Wednesday, as authorities struggled to get aid to the coastal city where thousands remained missing and tens of thousands were homeless. Aid workers who managed […]

10 days ago

FILE - Tony Berastegui Jr., right, and his sister Giselle Berastegui drink water, July 17, 2023, in...

Associated Press

End may be in sight for Phoenix’s historic heat wave of 110-degree plus weather

The historic heat wave continues in Phoenix, but the end may finally be in sight for residents of Arizona’s largest city.

12 days ago

A satellite image of Hurricane Lee provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration....

Mary Gilbert and Allison Chinchar, CNN

Hurricane Lee will create hazardous conditions along the East Coast

Hurricane Lee remains hundreds of miles east of the Caribbean late Saturday, yet forecasters say the storm’s effects may have an impact on the US Atlantic seaboard as early as this weekend.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Hundreds of Utahns help fill sandbags in Salt Lake County