February flooding affected a wide area of Northern Utah and beyond. Among the worst-hit was Box Elder County where damage was estimated at more than $5 million. But good news came last week when it was made known that the <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_36c0091a-26db-11e7-aa0b-132f610b1fb8.html” target=”_blank”>White House would respond</a> to requests by Utah officials, including Governor Herbert, that an emergency declaration be made.
This would make federal funds available for clean-up and restoration efforts. On KVNU’s For the People program on Monday, Box Elder County Commissioner Stan Summers told host Jason Williams that this years’ event reminded him of one nearly 35 years ago.
“In 1983, we had kind of the same situation where there was a lot of snow still left over from wintertime and it got unseasonably warm. It started to rain, and I watched a flood come out of the Whites Valley, up on I-84 headed to Snowville. (It) basically (brought) about 20,000 cubic feet of water down through our area and the house that I live in had about 3 ½ feet of water. So I’ve been through it twice in my lifetime. They keep saying 100 year flood,” said Summers.
Most of the damage in Box Elder County involved roadways, ditches, spillways and culverts. Summers said, unfortunately, the county didn’t hit what he described as the ‘public mark’. So none of the money will be going to individuals but rather to infrastructure and some of it possibly to a master drainage plan.
“So hopefully we can use some of this money for the planning and then we can start doing a laundry list of where we can get the most ‘bang for our buck’ so this kind of widespread damage won’t happen again,” according to Summers.
For those who would like to help individual families affected by the flooding, the county is helping fundraise through the United Way, where there is also a Silent Online Auction that started on Monday. You can find the details at <a href=”http://www.boxeldercounty.org/box-elder-county-emergency-response.htm” target=”_blank”>boxeldercounty.org</a>