UPDATE: Flooding continued around Cache County as rain continued to pour

Almost every community in Cache County experienced flooding Thursday, and the National Weather Service said it would continue as the heavy rain kept falling Thursday night, said Cache County Emergency Manager Rick Williams. Residents needing help or looking to help called their local public works or fire departments. The county is assisting these departments. “We’ve got every piece of our heavy equipment out there,” Williams said.State Route 23 between Mendon and Wellsville has been closed down indefinitely due to flooding, with reports that some areas of this road have been completely washed out. The intersection of Main Street and 100 South in Mendon has also been reported to be washed out.North Park Police asked people to avoid 800 East in North Logan and 400 East in Hyde Park because of flooding Thursday. Reports of flooded basements on 1250 East between 2300 North and 2800 North have also reached North Park Police. “Fire crews (are) working as fast as they can,” said Sgt. John Italisano of North Park Police. Flooding was also occurring in Smithfield below Birch Creek Golf Course, pouring off the frozen ground onto an LDS Stake Center parking lot at 120 South 600 East. The water poured over a retaining wall like a waterfall, streaming through the parking lot and then into the basement of Mike Howle, whose home corners the church building.The water filled up Howle’s window well and broke the window, putting about a foot of water in his basement. Dozens of volunteers and several emergency vehicles were on scene moving sand bags and trying to divert the water away from homes.Other patches of road throughout the county are dangerous for drivers with high levels or flooding covering the road. Williams asks drivers to be cautious, especially when driving through or near standing water or when driving near emergency crews dealing with the floods. The county is experiencing sheet flooding, meaning the ground is frozen and can’t accept water.”There’s no place for the rain to go, so it’s running down off the hills,” Williams said. From sandbagging to canal repair, the county is doing all they can to help local departments. The county is focusing their efforts on Mendon, Wellsville and Richmond, but Williams said the flooding is causing problems from Paradise up to Richmond. Mendon Fire Chief Ray Olsen had been up fighting flooding since 3:30 a.m. Thursday with a six-mile stretch of town being effected by flooding. The basement of one house in Wellsville had flooded, and when he arrived the couch was floating in four feet of water. Olsen said Mendon is having a particularly hard time because water runs downhill and Mendon is downhill, but another part of the problem is the town lacks channels or ditches to direct water down and out of town. A crew worked to place close to 4,000 sandbags around Mendon Thursday night. Olsen said the canal on SR 23 was going to breach in several places, and Olsen said some drastic measures are needed to prevent as much damage as possible. “To avert a big disaster with that, we are creating a minor disaster by deliberately cutting the canal,” he said. Three homes will be in jeopardy when they cut the canal, and these homeowners aren’t happy, but Olsen said they’ll do everything they can to try to control the water away from the homes. The homes will not need to be evacuated, Olsen said.Richmond similarly had flooding problems.”It’s basically the same thing in Richmond that we had in Wellsville,” Williams said Friday morning. “We had issues with the canals catching all the water that was coming off the hills. Then the canals were over-topping and coming down into people’s residence. “It was another case of just too much water and no place for it to go.”Williams says fortunately the rain has subsided for Friday and there were very few calls after 10 p.m. Thursday night. Williams says crews will be assessing flood damages throughout the day Friday.

<em>Reports or pictures of flooding (with addresses of where they were taken) can be e-mailed to Cache Valley Daily through Rachel’s e-mail, rac.ch@aggiemail.usu.edu.</em>

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