Runoff flows through Woodruff streets and homes

May 22, 2023, 6:28 PM | Updated: 6:35 pm

RICH COUNTY, Utah — Spring runoff continues to be a problem for Utahns, especially in the rural areas where they lack the resources to fight against the water.

The ground in Woodruff, Utah, is so wet that residents are now getting groundwater into their crawlspaces and basements. But some are getting creative and enjoying the water.

“We thought heck, we don’t need to go to the lake,” joked resident Josie Wirthiun.

Wirthiun, her son, and some other neighborhood kids decided to take out their kayaks and have some fun in the water.

“Just take our kayaks, stick ’em in the trailer, and go down to the neighborhood puddle,” she said.

That neighborhood puddle is more of a slow stream that’s pushing waters into some homes, up through the ground.

“We don’t really have a public works department, so we just do the best we can,” explained Scott Sabey, Woodruff’s town mayor.

Runoff flowing through Woodruff streets and homes (KSLTV) Runoff flowing through Woodruff streets and homes (KSLTV) Runoff flowing through Woodruff streets and homes (KSLTV)

Sabey said they must get resourceful and creative by routing those waters across the main highway, cutting through a street and a driveway to minimize the damage.

“Everything was good, and then the reservoirs all filled up, so the water started running down, and it just won’t handle it. So when it does that, it just runs right through town,” the mayor said.

But he said everything is so far, so good. Volunteers are helping keep an eye on things, and the city is hoping before too long, it will all just pass by.

“We prayed for snow for so long, and then we got it. Our prayers were answered,” Sabey said.

He said about four-thousand sandbags are prepared and all over town. And the mayor is hopeful they will get through this without any major incidents.

“I think it’s going to go at least another week,” he said.

Sabey said he was told that there is still about 30 inches of snow on Monte Cristo that will eventually make its way through the Bear River. The last time it was like this was in 2011.

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Runoff flows through Woodruff streets and homes