UTAH COUNTY — Residents of Spanish Fork Canyon, Payson Canyon and Loafer Canyon say the flooding and mudslides that closed them this week are the worst they’ve seen in decades.
Despite this, some Elk Ridge residents are breathing a sigh of relief after flood preps from a year ago may have spared their homes from a lot of damage.
Near the bottom of Loafer Canyon Road in Elk Ridge lives Neal Dastrup Insurance owner Brandon Fry. The mud and water flowed down the mountain, right onto his property.
Fry decided to stay while the rest of his family evacuated. He says this year’s flooding was far worse than what they were expecting a year ago.
“It ran a foot-deep through my breezeway for an hour and a half to two hours,” Fry says.
However, none of it got inside his home. He still has sandbags leftover from last year when many residents were worried about flooding from the burn scars of the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires.
“Those sandbags have been in place since last year, after the fires. We covered them up and kept them in place because we knew this was going to happen. We’ve been talking about it since the fires, that this was a major concern,” according to Fry.
Sandbags are designed to deteriorate when they’re left out in the sun, but, Elk Ridge City Recorder Royce Swensen says many residents covered the bags so they could be used again.
He said, “Some of them were still working and they put out a bunch of sandbags, again. A lot of people have [placed] Jersey barriers.”
Because of that, the damage wasn’t as widespread as it could have been.
“There are a few homes that do have some water that have gone down the window wells and possibly in the basement,” Swensen said.
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