After a several days of concentrated precipitation last week, the Mendon area of Cache Valley experienced damaging effects of flooding that are now being assessed and remedied.Mendon Fire and Rescue Chief, Ray Olsen, said, “While some Mendon roads have shoulder damage, the infrastructure of them is good, and most roads are in not too bad of shape. We are currently evaluating what we need to do to repair certain areas as well as clean the debris washed onto the roads by flood waters.”Repairs will be made in the spring, but at what cost is unknown at this point, Olsen said.State Road 23 from Mendon to Wellsville was closed to traffic Thursday night through Saturday afternoon due to the canal flowing over the road, pushing water and mud debris into drivers’ paths.Vic Saunders, spokesperson from the Utah Department of Transportation, said one of the main reasons for closing the road was to prevent vehicles from hydroplaning in the flowing water. Closing the road allowed crews to contain the issue in a controlled manner.Crews purposely breached the canal south of the road Thursday night, Olsen said, to prevent it from breaching itself with more devastating effects. The water was allowed to flow across SR 23 on a premeditated course.”The operation of cutting the canal went textbook,” Olsen said. “There were a few homes that were threatened, but our efforts to mitigate the damage to them were successful.”Saunders said SR 23 is now open to drivers and he does not anticipate any more problems this season.”The situation we had last week was unusual for this time of year,” Saunders said. “As long as we don’t have the rains like last week, we shouldn’t have a repeat situation this season.”Several homes did have their basements flooded with about a foot of water, Olsen said. Other damage included flooded garages and lawns, and landscaping damages like trees that washed away.Olsen estimates his crews and volunteers put out about 4,000 sandbags that helped prevent further damage. The city went through about 60-80 tons of sand. The bags were filled and placed through a community effort from the volunteer fire and rescue crew to about 100 volunteers.After about 48 hours of intense efforts to mitigate flooding, things settled down about 2 p.m. on Saturday, Olsen said, when it started to snow. Flooding was caused by heavy rains and a frozen ground unresponsive to absorbing the moisture.The Mendon Fire and Rescue crew did make preparations in anticipation of the storm.”We saw the forecast and we knew what it meant, so we got several truckloads of sand brought in and had a few pallets of sandbags already made up,” Olsen said. “Those efforts did pay off.”Next, the city will discuss how to channel water through the community better to thwart future flooding. Olsen said he hopes to purchase a jet pump to help prevent the canal from flowing inefficiently.Olsen said, “We appreciate those who volunteered. It would have been a lot for the Mendon Fire and Rescue crew to handle. We had a plan came together, and did an overall effective job at keeping bigger problems at bay.”- email@example.com
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