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Draper family cleans up home filled with mud after storm came blasting through basement

Aug 4, 2023, 1:10 PM | Updated: 7:25 pm

DRAPER, Utah — Draper is recovering from an intense rainstorm that left the city flooded with multiple street closures, a sinkhole, and mudslides.

Draper’s City Manager said their system is designed to handle a 100-year storm, meaning about an inch of rain over three hours.

In this case, he says it was more like a 500-year event with more than two inches of rain coming down in less than an hour.

The water overwhelmed the system, and in many cases, did not make it to the drains.

Erin Longacre is a homeowner in Draper.

“It was like nothing I have ever seen in my life,” Longacre said.

On Thursday night, Longacre headed downstairs to check out her basement after getting a call from her neighbors saying their basement had some flooding.

“It started off with just an inch of water coming up under the door,” Longacre said.

Moments later, she said water pressure built up against her 10-year-old son’s bedroom door.

Thankfully, her son was not in his bed last night.

“Half the door is gone… that’s when the water just started rushing into everything else,” said Longacre.

The bedroom window is also broken from the water pressure.

There is also mulch to sort through. The family said they do not have mulch in their own yards.

“I probably have all of my neighbors mulch in my basement right now,” Longacre said.

She is grateful her son was not in his bed.

“I don’t even know what would have happened if he was lying on the bed with the door shut and gallons of water came at massive speed. I don’t know what would have happened to him. He would’ve been trapped in the room when all of this water came in,” Longacre said.

While saddened, she said the community has stepped up tremendously to help.

“Keepsakes: It’s just stuff. That will be replaced… We had neighbors and strangers just come out of the woodworks. We’re grateful,” said Longacre.

Other homeowners like Donovan Ramsay also spent Friday cleaning up the mess leftover from the storm.

Thursday's storm left two feet of water in Donovan Ramsey's basement damaging walls, stairs and windows. (KSL TV) Thursday's storm left two feet of water in Donovan Ramsey's basement damaging walls, stairs and windows. (KSL TV) Thursday's storm left two feet of water in Donovan Ramsey's basement damaging walls, stairs and windows. (KSL TV)

“I’ve never seen rain like that,” Ramsay said.

The force of the floodwaters shattered all three windows in Ramsay’s basement.

“The blinds were just flapping and all the water was just pouring in,” he said.

He said there was nothing he could do to stop the water from rushing in as his basement filled to more than two-feet deep.

“The storm came down so fast,” Ramsay said. “I went around the corner and I saw that my theater chairs were floating and my futon was floating and then I saw that in the guest bedroom downstairs that the mattress was at the front of the door and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’”

Ramsay has already paid $10,000 for the initial clean-up of his basement. He’s already heard that the damage is not covered by his homeowner’s insurance policy.

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Draper family cleans up home filled with mud after storm came blasting through basement