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Draper City: Federal relief unlikely for damages due to August thunderstorm

Sep 8, 2023, 11:34 AM | Updated: 11:35 am

DRAPER, Utah — Officials said Thursday it was unlikely that Draper City or its residents would be eligible for federal relief funds after a powerful thunderstorm last month left behind millions in damage.

The city declared a state of emergency following the Aug. 3 storm that led to flooding and other issues in several areas of town.

In an update posted to social media, officials said damage to the city’s infrastructure was estimated to be $3 million to $4 million and the minimum threshold for FEMA funds is $5.7 million.

According to the city, it was also unlikely residents would be able to qualify for low-interest Small Business Administration loans, though the city was continuing to review data versus the SBA requirements.

“Although we knew compensation options were going to be difficult to qualify for, we were hopeful to have some assistance to offer affected residents,” the city stated in the post. “We understand the hardship these natural disaster can cause. We were also hopeful to not have to cover the unexpected expense to repair the infrastructure.”

The city also announced it had made progress with repairs in several areas, including along Bangerter Parkway, at the Mike Weir Roundabout and in the area of 1300 East and Highland Drive.

On 13800 South, resident Quinn Horrocks said his property was damaged due to flooding twice — on Aug. 3 and also during another significant rain on Monday.

“The first one got in my house in two windows and filled my garage,” Horrocks said of the August storm. “I have fears of even leaving for half a day if it looks like it is going to storm.”

Horrocks said it took two weeks of six-days-a-week work to clean up his property after the Aug. 3 event, which also displaced a large amount of gravel into his yard.

He said he wasn’t expecting federal funds, but he also said Draper City was long overdue to improve infrastructure in the area — something he said officials had pledged for years to do but hadn’t yet. He believed that contributed to the flooding his and other properties along 13800 South saw recently.

“I don’t think it’s a FEMA issue, it’s a Draper issue — it’s been a Draper issue for 20 years,” said Horrocks, who has lived in the area for 37 years. “If they can’t do curb and gutter right now, they could trench all the way on this side and put a half-moon gutter in there.”

City officials told KSL 5 Thursday evening that the public works department was planning to propose to the city council the addition of curb and gutter in the area along 13800 South for the coming budget year.

Horrocks said he hoped the city would follow though this time.

“I like the rain but just not all at once,” he said.

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Draper City: Federal relief unlikely for damages due to August thunderstorm