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West Valley City homeowners say storm drain behind their property caused flooding

Aug 3, 2023, 6:06 PM | Updated: 6:08 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY — A West Valley City couple was left trying to figure out how they’re going to deal with damage caused by Wednesday’s storms.

Bob and Elly Robinson’s backyard turned into a pond and their driveway, a rushing river Wednesday. They believe a drain near their property failed, causing a whole lot of problems.

“Our backyard was a flood, we had a river going down this, out to the road,” Robinson said. “We had people stop and wondering where all this water was coming from and we just pointed to West Valley City’s drainage, it was not handling any of it.”

She said she and her husband have lived in the home for 35 years. They said they’d never seen anything like Wednesday’s deluge.

“We never worried about flood insurance, and we’ve always been fine,” Robinson said. “Then this happened, and I call my insurance guy, and we’re up the creek without a paddle. We’ve got to fix this on our own and we’re retired, we don’t have that kind of cash.”

They said, when the water first started pooling in their backyard and pushing their gravel around, they wondered if a water line had broken.

“The pressure of it was moving all our wood out, it just wiped everything out,” Robinson said. “We couldn’t even keep up with it. We had water up mid-calf. It was that deep.”

They said the fire department arrived and told them what was causing all the water to flood their yard.

“Fire department came, they went over, they cleaned the debris and they said there’s nothing they can do,” Robinson said. “The drain isn’t handling it, that we would just have to work through it.”

The Robinsons said city employees also came by, took pictures, and told them they knew where the problem was.

KSL reached out to West Valley City for comment on the drain and did not receive a response.

The Robinsons were able to clean up most of their yard, but their basement is damaged. Water is seeping in. They have to tear up the space to find out where it’s coming in from.

“We’ve got to redo our whole family room,” Robinson said. “We have a wood floor and you can just feel it squishing.”

KSL saw crews clearing debris from the railroad tracks behind the Robinson’s property Thursday.

The Robinsons said they’re worried about what the repairs will cost them.

“West Valley City came, they took pictures, they knew where the problem was, but nothing ever happened,” she said.

Another West Valley City family faced a similar problem.

Wednesday’s quick-moving storm dumped feet of water into their basement, flooding it from floor to ceiling.

“I just couldn’t believe it, just watching it happen,” Brian Porter said. “It was a waterfall, and it flooded into our basement. It was totally underwater within a few minutes.”

Before professional crews could arrive to remove the water, the community showed up in full force. Friends from the neighborhood, which is just west of Mountain View Corridor, came together to help this family.

Wednesday’s rainfall totals in Utah were good enough to make up for a summer that has been, to this point, extremely dry.

KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank said that the statewide storm, spread out between southern and northern Utah, brought “the entire summer’s rain in a single day.”

Here’s a look at the areas that accumulated the highest totals.

Monsoons produce ‘the entire summer’s rain in a single day’ in Utah; more to come


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West Valley City homeowners say storm drain behind their property caused flooding