Flood aid for South Summit is on the way | ParkRecord.com

Flood aid for South Summit is on the way

The South Summit area will receive about $5 million from the federal government to help fund recovery from flooding that occurred in early June.

Oakley resident Matt Leavitt’s house on State Road 32 was one of the homes hardest hit when the Weber River overran its banks.

"There are issues with the footing, the foundation and there is a north wall that is off of its foundation," Leavitt said, describing flood damage to his home. "There are cracks in the walls and other stuff like that."

The flooding spurred Gov. Gary Herbert to request emergency assistance from the federal government. Leavitt has spent weeks cleaning up his home.

"Do you know what a mere pittance of the $5 million could do for us homeowners who were affected by that flood?" Leavitt asked. "Give us homeowners some of that so that we can put our lives back in order You give me a little bit of that and I could fix my house and I would no longer be homeless."

The federal Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing Summit County the funding from its emergency watershed protection program.

"We look forward to working with Summit County and local residents to restore these critical natural resource systems and help make these communities whole again," said Sylvia Gillen, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

County officials will partner with the federal government to distribute the $5 million.

"I don’t know that we’re going to look at it as giving people money," Summit County Manager Bob Jasper said. "There are going to be people who are going to ask us to fix the problem so their property doesn’t get flooded like that again, and that I want to approach carefully."

He said he expects many property owners along the Weber River and Beaver Creek to request assistance from the county.

"We can help get rid of some of the worst cases of debris. If tree trunks and stuff that comes out of a flooded river is piled up on people’s property, we can help with that," Jasper said. "I doubt if we’re just going to take some of the money and send it to people as checks. I think what we’ll do is work with them to clean up debris."

But Leavitt said he does not expect to receive much financial assistance from the government.

"If I see a dime of that I’ll be surprised," Leavitt said. "There is so much other stuff that needs to be done, and cleaning up the Weber River is a huge thing."

However, a family living down the street from him was devastated by the flooding, Leavitt said.

"They had a daughter who died in an automobile accident," Leavitt said. "Her bedroom was in the basement and was flooded. They left that room alone as a tribute to that daughter and that was all flooded."

Another neighbor lost her furnace in the flood.

"Replacing her furnace and fixing her basement would be a pittance of that $5 million," Leavitt said.

Meanwhile, Jasper said repairing public infrastructure damaged by flooding could take a sizable chunk of the federal funding. Summit County must match some of the grant money.

"We have some work to do," Jasper said. "We probably could eat up a good hunk of it just in fixing bridge abutments and replacing culverts and things like that."

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