Weber River repaired after years of flooding
July 3, 2012
After extensive damage was done to homes, fields and bridges along the Weber River during spring flooding in 2010 and 2011, the Federal Government stepped in and offered to help the landowners and Summit County repair the riverbanks to mitigate future flooding.
According to Summit County Public Works Manager Kevin Callahan, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) just completed over 24 projects along the Weber River near Oakley and Weber Canyon.
"All the projects took about two years and cost about $3 million," Callahan said. "We expect these projects to be a long-term investment and last 25 to 50 years. While it is hard to think about flooding this summer, it happened two years in a row and will happen again in that area. These projects will protect land and homes for years to come."
NRCS paid for 75 percent of the projects and private landowners paid for the other 25 percent. Callahan said the county offered deferred payment plans for the private landowners to pay for the improvements overtime.
"There were some portions of the river that have dense concentrations of development and could really suffer if more flooding occurs in the future," he said. "We really focused on these areas, reinforced some bridges to expand their lifespan and helped rebuild some irrigation structures."
Bronson Smart, NRCS state engineer, said the $3 million worth of projects should save the county and landowners $5 million in the future.
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"For two years in a row this area suffered a lot of damage," Smart said. "In 2010 some homes shifted on their foundations and people had to temporarily leave their homes. After these projects, homes should be protected for a long time."
Smart added that crews also removed 12,000 tons of debris from the river and riverbanks which he said had acted like "battering rams" in the past once the water began to rise.
"We took the debris from the river, made it into woodchips and then gave them to people for their yards," he said. "We are glad that this area will be protected in the future and hopefully will create fewer problems for the county and homeowners."