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Chalk Creek expected to flood

Who would have thought Summit County would see two hundred-year floods back-to-back, said County Manager Bob Jasper to the Summit County Council on Wednesday.

The silver lining is that county officials now know where Chalk Creek, Weber River and Provo River are weakest.

With a grant from the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), private contractors have been sent to 14 sites along the Weber River to shore up river banks or repair irrigation structures, said Summit County Engineer Derrick Radke in an interview Thursday.

The work will continue until water levels become too high for the earth-moving equipment to operate. That will probably be another two or three weeks, Radke said.

With the exception of one near Brown’s Canyons and one in Woodenshoe, the sites are all above Oakley. Two are where crews are repairing or replacing irrigation channels. As a federal agency, the NRCS exists to aid farmers, Radke explained. The other 12 sites are where the river breached last year or where property, like a county-owned bridge, is threatened.

The NRCS pays for 75 percent of the cost. The other 25 percent is covered by the property owners benefiting, whether that be the county, an irrigation district, or a private landowner.

Landowners above Oakley are volunteering to form a special assessment district to be taxed for flood prevention measures, Radke told the County Council.

Kevin Callahan told the Summit County Council that some of the projects are already near completion.

"It’s making a huge impact it’s keeping things in good shape," he said.

Good news aside, the National Weather Service (NWS) is reporting Chalk Creek in North Summit could flood at any time it is already above capacity. Callahan said it could happen as early as this weekend. The NWS predicts properties five miles east of Coalville are most at risk.

Data compiled by NWS predicts the Weber and Provo rivers will flood in mid-to-late May if current conditions persist.

If flooding occurs, it is likely to last two-to-three weeks, he said.

Callahan said Chalk Creek is being monitored almost constantly, as is Beaver Creek that flows from the Uinta Mountains into Kamas.

Supplies for 25,000 sandbags have been passed out, and materials for 60,000 more have been ordered, he added.

East Side residents are being encouraged to visit co.summit.ut.us to learn more about flood prevention and preparation. People should know whether their property is at risk, how to obtain sandbags and how to follow NWS warnings.

If a home is flooded, the county recommends families keep children and pets away from ditches, culverts, storm drains and waterways. Vehicle gas tanks should be kept full for quick evacuation and 72-hour kits should be assembled. Before fleeing, fill bath tubs and sinks with clean water, and then turn off water and gas lines. Move valuables and toxic materials to high ground. Don’t try to drive through washed-out roads.


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