Flooding caused damage in South Summit
August 17, 2010
The federal Natural Resources Conservation Service has earmarked about $3.5 million in flood aid for Summit County. The county must apply for the money and provide a match for 25 percent of the grant.
"You can use the money to protect property, life and safety from imminent flooding," Summit County Manager Bob Jasper said. "It’s related to reducing future erosion."
Summit County could receive an additional $350,000 from the federal government for engineering and conducting studies along the Weber River.
"We did incur costs and damages during the flood," Jasper said. "It’s not without impact on the entire county."
The Weber River overran its banks in South Summit in early June, damaging homes, roads and bridges. When the heavy runoff subsided, government officials realized they needed help paying to repair the damage so they asked for assistance from the federal government.
The Summit County Council will likely determine how the flood aid is spent, according to Summit County Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan.
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"The council will be in the driver’s seat in terms of deciding what the priorities are," Callahan said.
Clearing debris from the channel that flooding left behind could prevent the river from overflowing next year.
"There is very large debris up and down the river," Callahan said.
But repairing the flooded channels should not negatively impact property owners downstream, Callahan stressed.
"It’s a very challenging issue," he said. "There isn’t one solution. There are many different ways for addressing these problems."
The river overran its bank in several locations and heavy equipment was needed to prevent the water from pouring into homes. Houses along Pinion Lane were some of the hardest hit by the flooding.
"To me, this is step by step," Jasper said.
Officials must carefully study any changes before they occur to determine "what the impact might be downstream," Jasper said.
But to prevent flooding next spring, Summit County Councilman David Ure said debris must be cleared from the river.
"We have to control that river," Ure said. "If we do nothing this year, we’ll be in one hellacious mess next spring."
Meanwhile, a team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency also assessed the flood damage. But the South Summit area did not qualify for emergency funding from FEMA.
FEMA determined damage from the flooding was not significant enough for Summit County to receive the money.
"We didn’t meet the thresholds for consideration under FEMA funding," Callahan said.
The flooding in Summit County caused about $3 million in property damage, according to Callahan.