Flood fears rise in the Basin | ParkRecord.com

Flood fears rise in the Basin

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Ditches in the Snyderville Basin could flood when snow melts this spring.

Homeowners are encouraged to clear debris from irrigation canals around their homes where runoff could breach the banks.

"That’s the reality of turning rural areas into suburban subdivisions," Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer said.

Ditches in Silver Springs and Ranch Place do not belong to Summit County, County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme explained.

"[Residents must] clean up their own cockeyed messes It hasn’t been done," Woolstenhulme said. "They’re going to get wet."

Ice melt has already caused a ditch near Old Ranch Road to overflow, said Tim Richins, who helps oversee snowplowing for Summit County Public Works.

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"Slush plugs up the ditch," Richins said. "It raises the water level."

Officials say private haulers have dumped snow in canals in Snyderville.

Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan studies western Summit County flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We know where our problems have been in the past," said Callahan, who is concerned the area could flood.

Meanwhile, commissioners recently praised snowplow operators in the county for their efforts to clear the streets.

"We commend you highly for taking care of the roads the last few weeks," Woolstenhulme said.

Callahan explained a traffic accident that involved a snowplow operator in Summit Park.

"We’ve had a lot of challenges," Callahan said. "This has been a difficult year for us We’ve got some very difficult areas."