#BEFlooding2017_PressRelease
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#BEFlooding2017

Date – 03/06/2017 Time – 5:00 PM

 

INCIDENT - General Conditions Box Elder County (mostly flooding)

 

LOCATION – All of Box Elder County

 

AGENCIES/OFFICERS INVOLVED – Box Elder County Sheriff, Box Elder County Road Department, and Box Elder County Emergency Management

 

RELEASABLE INFORMATION – The information contained in this release is going to progress from the first issues and then updated by date. Please monitor Box Elder County Emergency Management Facebook page for updates.

3/6/2017 

First and foremost, Box Elder County would like to thank all those who helped in the sheet flooding over the past number of weeks.  There is no way events like this can be managed without the great volunteer help of everyone!  Citizens from all over the state came together to help and we thank you!

Box Elder County is suspending the operational period coordination processes.  This means we are not asking for volunteers to help out with sandbagging or other operations.  We are now working towards cleaning up and demobilizing the emergency response.  This doesn’t mean, however, that things aren’t being monitored for other potential disasters.  County Emergency Personnel are keeping an eye on potential river flooding, possible landslides, and other potential disaster areas in the county.  We do not feel we are done with future flooding.

Box Elder County made it through the weekend with limited localized flooding impacting roadways and canals, on Sunday evening, but with no impact on homes.  The return of cold weather and snow overnight has stopped further flooding today. 

The Volunteer Coordination Center (VCC) has been suspended.  Calls are being taken by the Red Cross who are scheduling both Team Rubicon and Southern Baptists on a case-by-case basis.  You can contact Kelly Reyes at 801-597-2612.  Kelly says between Elko, NV and northern Utah, she has 165 cases with the recent flooding events.  Suggestions for residents would be as follows:

  •        Get the flooded house dry.  This might mean purchasing or borrowing a sump pump, wet/dry vac, and fans or hiring a company to dry the space. Neither Team Rubicon nor the Southern Baptists can come into a wet home to help. 
  •        Once all the water is out it might be helpful to kill the mold potential (or even visual mold) by spraying it (in a well-ventilated room/area) with a product like Bleach or even “KILZ” to seal concrete or drywall.
  •        Southern Baptists and Team Rubicon are able to come in and do the demolition of sheetrock and other flood-damaged materials and then spray a product that helps fight the mold from growing.  Mold can come even after a home is dry because of the moisture is in the air and walls and if the moisture is still present.
  •        It will be the home owner’s responsibility to either hire a contractor or do the reconstruction him/herself.  If a family qualifies for assistance, groups like Habitat for Humanity may have materials for reconstruction (depending upon donations).  Currently, the county is asking for money donations through United Way of Northern Utah.
  •        Note: This process takes possibly months to get homes dry and corrected.  Please be patient.

All other flooding events throughout the County are being fixed, monitored, or awaiting demobilization (ie pumps). 

Again, we thank those who have volunteered and helped in any way in this flooding situation!


2/27/2017

* The cooler temperatures have slowed the flooding problem and have allowed the pumps to catch up with regards to the flooding fields.  Currently, Box Elder County has 9 pumps out with 4 of those pumps currently running (most running on low).  It is anticipated 2 additional pumps will go out to new locations.
* Watching the weather, it looks like it will warm back up later in the week causing this new snow and the older snowpack to begin to melt again.
* Box Elder County has placed four garbage bins for those who have flooding-related waste.  They can be found at the following locations:
13600 North, East Garland Park, Riverside Park, the west end of Rocket Road.  These bins are only for waste that is from the flooding of someone's home (ie carpet, soggy boxes, etc...).  Please do not put anything hazardous in these bins.  If you notice the bin is full, please call 435-695-2554 and we will contact the bin operator to have it dumped.  Please do not throw anything outside the bin on the ground.  These bins will only be out for a short period of time.  You can also take your flooding waste to the county landfill (there will be a fee).
* More than 30,000 sandbags have gone out, helping the residents keep water out or away from their property.  Currently, there are around 20,000 sandbags on pallets ready to go out if the melting becomes unmanageable again.  If you need sandbags, you can call 435-695-2554 or simply go out to the fairgrounds and pick them up.  If there is an emergency, dial 911!  Thank you, everyone, for helping put these sandbags together and for helping get them out to your neighbors!  
* We are suspending our Volunteer Operation Center (mostly for sandbagging) for a few days.  If you have a need for volunteers, please call 435-695-2554.  We will probably resume operations closer to the weekend (most likely Friday, unless something happens before then).
*  The Red Cross is currently working with around 100 families to assist them with their flooding needs.  If you would like to donate cash, please do so through the United Way of Northern Utah (http://www.uwnu.org/disaster).  There may be folks out there trying to take advantage of kind hearts, please don't give them money because it probably isn't going out to those who need it for this flooding event.
*  Damage to Box Elder County roadways is estimated to be greater than $3 million so far.  It is anticipated this number will rise as more estimates are completed.  Please note that roads have been damaged and some are even blocked off.  They are blocked off for a reason, please do not bypass the road closed signs, they are there for your safety!  Specifically, p
lease do not drive around the barricades on 4000 West between 10800 North and Highway 102. This is along the road just north of the entrance to Peterson Park, in the river bottoms, between Tremonton and Deweyville.  That landslide is nibbling closer to the edge of the road, and we now have water passing under the road, and eroding the soils. We expect that this road could collapse at any time. ALSO... care should be given while driving along River Road around 9000 North, in Elwood. That embankment above Hansen park is also sluffing off and nibbling its way to the edge of the road. those soils are very soft. Do not pull off the road and onto the shoulder in this area.

*Keep yourself safe...

WATER CONTAMINATION ISSUES:  
Flooding and Storm Water are most likely contaminated and protective actions and measures are required.

  •          Storm/Sewer Drains are frequently running above capacity and overflowing - injecting human waste into the flood waters
  •          Animal feces are present from farm field runoff
  •          Flood runoff from farm fields also carries fertilizer and other farm chemicals
  •          It is possible that animal carcasses could be present in the flood waters

Recommended Safety Actions:

  •          Refrain from contacting flood waters with bare skin
  •          Keep water out of eyes, nose, mouth and ears
  •          Refrain/Use Caution when eating/drinking - when in contact with Flood Waters
  •          IF water is contacted – recommend washing affected areas with quality soap and HOT water for at least 30 seconds
  •          Remove work clothing when you arrive home to prevent contamination of your home.
  •          Shower upon arriving home



2/24/2017

* Box Elder County Emergency Management is monitoring the water levels of the fields, roadways, streams etc to ensure the issues from the sheet flooding are kept, as much as possible, away from homes and keeping people as safe.  Pumps are running 24/7 (around 23 in total) around the county putting water in canals, ditches and into both the Malad and Bear Rivers.  The weather, even though it is snowing, has helped slow the flow of water allowing the pumps to catch up a little, making a small dent on the sheet flooding.  There is still a lot of water on roadways.  Please be careful out there and make sure you slow down when going over pump hoses and around the pumps.

* In order to better serve the citizens of Box Elder County, many of the sandbags have been relocated to the communities around the county.  Here is a list of those communities:  Thatcher, Bothwell, East Garland Park, Riverside, Fielding, Plymouth, Corinne, Deweyville, Garland City, and Portage.  If you are in need of sandbags, please check one of these locations before coming to the fairgrounds.  There are additional sandbags at the fairgrounds.

* Please see our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BECountyEmergencyNotification/) for more information

* Sandbagging operations will continue through the weekend (Saturday, Feb. 25th 10 AM - 8 PM, Sunday, Feb. 26th 10 AM - 8 PM).  If you are interested in volunteering, and you are 12-years old or older, please call 435-695-2554.  The sandbagging will be done under the bandstand at the fairgrounds in Tremonton.  You will be signing in at the Museum Building.  Please wear appropriate attire, bring gloves, and shovels.

* The Red Cross will be holding another Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) this coming Saturday (February 25th) from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.  This will be located at the Garland City Offices (72 North Main, Garland, Utah 84312) to be held in the gymnasium on the east side of the building.  These volunteer agency partners come from a wide spectrum of great non-profit and faith-based organizations whose sole purpose it is to help people in the time of an emergency. If you have been flooded and need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to utilize resources they have to offer.  This is a one-stop-shop for affected homeowners.  Trained caseworkers will be available to help people create personal recovery plans, navigate paperwork, and locate assistance for their specific disaster-caused needs. 

* Volunteers from the Red Cross will be going around the county taking images of the pumps, roadways, homes, etc.  

* Here are some links associated with flooding that the Bear River Health Department has put together:
Here's a link on cleaning indoor sewer contaminationhttp://www.brhd.org/documents/environmental-health/wastewater/412-cleaning/file.html
Here's what to do with your septic system in a flooding situation: http://www.brhd.org/documents/environmental-health/wastewater/411-septic/file.html
Here's what to do with your well in a flooding situation: http://www.brhd.org/documents/emergency-plans/414-wells-after-flood-1/file.html
The Bear River Health Department is offering free bacteria testinghttp://www.brhd.org/images/Free_Bacteria_Testing.pdf

* Box Elder County and cities within the County are asking for donations through the United Way (http://www.uwnu.org/disaster).  If someone contacts you regarding donating funds for the relief efforts and they aren't asking you to donate to the United Way of Northern Utah, please ignore the requests.

* Bear River Bird Refuge Auto Loop tour is closed along with West Forest Street.

* If you have received flooding, please do all you can to help mitigate the flooding in the future.  We are anticipating more water and are hopeful we can get ahead of it.

2/23/2017

2:00 PM        

We have had an overwhelming response to our volunteers.  We want to thank everyone who has helped!  Here are a few updated numbers that we have:

1.  Salt Lake County sent 12 public works employees for 2 days to help alleviate some of the demand on Box Elder County employees. 

2.  Box Elder County received 8,000 sand bags from SLC (last two days) and between the Utah National Guard and many local volunteers another 10,000 sandbags were assembled.

3.  Currently, there are 18,000 sandbags from yesterday and today total, most of the sandbags are being delivered to different communities through the next day or so.

4.  The Utah National Guard is still doing 500-600 sandbags per hour.  They will be finishing their duty today.

5.  Currently, we are not asking for additional volunteers.  When we do call out, we will be asking that those volunteers be 12-years old or older for safety reasons.  Please see our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BECountyEmergencyNotification/) for more information.

6.  Currently, there are 13 pumps that are 6” or larger along with 10 smaller pumps running 24/7, and we have six more 6” pumps that should arrive today.

7.  The Red Cross is out talking with people and establishing cases of families who are without a home because of flooding.  It is still unknown how many families that have been evacuated, but we will be working on getting that number.

8.  The Red Cross will be holding another Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) this coming Saturday (February 25th) from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.  This will be located at the Garland City Offices (72 North Main, Garland, Utah 84312) to be held in the gymnasium on the east side of the building.  These volunteer agency partners come from a wide spectrum of great non-profit and faith-based organizations whose sole purpose it is to help people in the time of an emergency. If you have been flooded and need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to utilize resources they have to offer.  This is a one-stop-shop for affected homeowners.  Trained caseworkers will be available to help people create personal recovery plans, navigate paperwork, and locate assistance for their specific disaster-caused needs. 

More information to come…

 

8:00 AM Attention sandbagging volunteers!

With the colder weather and a number of sandbags we have, we are not in need of sandbagging volunteers. We will be posting here if/when that changes.

Thank you for your willingness to help your neighbors!


2/22/2017

We are holding a press conference today (Feb 22) at 3:00 pm in Elwood, Utah.  This will be at the Box Elder County Road shed (5730 West 8800 North, Elwood, UT 84337).  
Due to the increased flooding issues in Box Elder County we will hold a press conference today to discuss the ongoing flooding issues.
We are using the hashtag #BEFlooding2017
Our website for this event is:
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Mitch Zundel
435-734-3331 (office being forwarded to my cell)



THE COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER IS AT A PARTIAL ACTIVATION LEVEL.

 
* Sheet flooding worsened dramatically yesterday due to the warmer temperatures, wind, and rain. Current areas significantly impacted are as follows:

- Tremonton, Garland, Honeyville, Snowville, and the unincorporated areas such as Thatcher, Bothwell, and North Garland (SR 13 closed at 13600 North for pumping operations), 6000 West between Riverside and Belmont Springs. Many more areas are experiencing water leaking and seepage into basements from high water levels under the ground or yard water leaking in.

- We have filled and distributed over 30,000 sand bags in the past weeks, and received another 11,000 from the State yesterday.

- We are expecting an increase in rain and snow this afternoon, evening and next couple days, although temperatures should decrease, bringing freezing temps at night. Hopefully, this can slow or melt rate.

* The Red Cross will establish Flood Victim Assistance Center (known to them as a MARC), this Wednesday at the Aldersgate Church in Brigham City.  At 7:30 pm at 235 East 850 South Brigham City, UT.

* NEW INFO – Cutler dam notified us yesterday that they increased flows again out of the dam to 7100 CFS. This is well below the peak of 9500 CFS 10 days ago but will have water over the river banks again. No significant concerns at this point.

* NEW INFO - The bird refuge is currently still open, but that could change with water levels increasing out of Cutler Reservoir.

* Utah Geological Survey assessed the continued subsidence in Elwood along the bluffs above the Bear River, at 9050 North River Road. (above Peterson Park).  They are still concerned about the nature of this slide as it continues to move.

* Unchanged - Emergency stabilization of damaged county roads is ongoing, as needed, to ensure safe pass ability. 

* Unchanged - The landslide at Bear Hollow (water ski resort community) was assessed. There is not apparent damage to the home. The community has made its own arrangements for managing the incident and needs no assistance from the County.

* Unchanged - The county road at 4000 West and 10800 North remains closed due to continued evidence of soil instabilities resulting in the earth slide at that location and the land movement at Peterson Park to the south along the west edge of the Bear River drainage, in Elwood.

* Unchanged - An assessment of the County Roads was completed on Wednesday by the County Road Department Head and the County Engineering firm. At this point we have an estimate of nearly 3.2 million dollars in damage to County infrastructure, however, there is still other damage occurring and other info still coming in.

* Unchanged - Lucin Flood - The Union Pacific Railroad is making maximum efforts to repair the rail line. The County road crossing the drainage and flowing waters south of Lucin still cuts that area of the county off from the rest of the county.

* Unchanged -  The road at 2000 West at the county line, coming into the south marina, is closed after Weber county cut it just below the county line to facilitate water flows two weeks ago. No current flooding there. Road repairs are pending.            

* Unchanged - An emergency declaration was prepared and has been submitted to the State. Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) is in the process of being developed.  

* We are requesting if you have received a pallet with sand bags on it and it is in good shape still, please return it to the Road Shed in Elwood () so we can put sand bags on them again for others.

2/21/2017

* The Red Cross will establish a Flood Victim Assistance Center (known to them as a MARC), this Wednesday (22nd) 7:30 PM at the Aldersgate Church in Brigham City (235 East 850 South, Brigham City, Utah 84302).

2/20/2017

DUE TO AN INCREASE IN THE COMPLEXITY, AND POTENTIAL EXPANSION OF THE CURRENT EVENTS WE HAVE MOVED OUR ACTIVATION OF THE COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER (EOC) TO PARTIAL ACTIVATION LEVEL.

* The Red Cross will establish a Flood Victim Assistance Center (known to them as a MARC), this Wednesday (22nd) 7:30 PM at the Aldersgate Church in Brigham City (235 East 850 South, Brigham City, Utah 84302).

* We are expecting an increase in rain this afternoon and evening along with continued warmer temperatures, and above freezing situations

* Sheet flooding continues to worsen with the warmer temperatures and rain. Current areas significantly impacted are as follows:
Tremonton, Garland, Elwood, Honeyville, Snowville, and the unincorporated areas of west and south of Tremonton as well as North Garland (SR 13 closed at 13600 north for pumping operations), 6000 west between Riverside and Belmont Springs. We are still expecting reports from other areas as well.
There are some challenges associated with Tremonton City pumping water into the fields which pass under the freeway and out along ditches, causing flooding in the homes of county residents. One pump was moved to reduce some of those effects. Similar problems have occurred in Elwood where citizens were pumping flood waters in fields across the street, only to have that water travel and flood other homes down the road.

* We have filled and distributed nearly 20,000 sand bags in the past weeks.
* Emergency stabilization of damaged county roads is underway as needed to ensure safe passability.
* An assessment of the County Roads was completed on Wednesday by the County Road Department Head, and the county Engineering firm. At this point we, have an estimate of nearly 3.2 million dollars in damage to County infrastructure.
* An emergency declaration was prepared and has submitted to the State. PDA is in the process of being developed
* Utah Geological Survey is up again today assessing the continued subsidence in Elwood along the bluffs above the Bear River, at 9050 North River Road. (above Peterson park). They are still concerned about the nature of this slide.
* The landslide at Bear Hollow water ski resort community was assessed. There is not apparent damage to the home. The community has made its own arrangements for managing the incident and needs no assistance from the County.

* Unchanged - The county road at 4000 West and 10800 North remains closed due to continued evidence of soil instabilities resulting in the earth slide at that location and the land movement at Peterson Park to the south along the west edge of the Bear River drainage, in Elwood.
* Unchanged - The Bear River is back within its banks but running high. We are waiting to see if the warm temperatures and run-off above the dam will push water levels over the banks again.
* Unchanged - The bird refuge is still closed.
* Unchanged - Lucin Flood - The Union Pacific Railroad is making maximum efforts to repair the rail line. The County road crossing the drainage and flowing waters south of Lucin still cuts that area of the county off from the rest of the County.
* Unchanged - 2000 West in the South Willard area (south of the South Marina of Willard Bay State Park) is still closed to allow water from Weber County to flow through the area.  

02/11/2017

Cutler Reservoir is holding at a 7800 CFS release of water and is expecting to be able to hold there due to the cooler temperatures and the rain subsiding in Cache County.

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is closed and they have canceled the Eagle Watch event for today.

The Naf road remains open to Yost to high profile vehicles. It is still flooding and is heavily damaged.

We are flying the Lucin area to determine the full extent of the damage in that area due to the flooding.

Peterson Park in Elwood continues to have some earth slippage. This area is on the west side of the Bear River drainage. The road in that area, 4400 West, has been closed due to water damage.

In the northwest part of Box Elder County, Goose Creek, there is substantial flooding causing some issues with livestock. Roads are heavily damaged in the area of Oakley, Cassia County Idaho, but are still open to high profile vehicles. Unknown condition of the road between Grouse Creek and Goose Creek. Goose Creek is reported to be running in excess of 4000 CFS and has washed out private bridges in the area.

The Lynn Reservoir is full and starting to run into the overflow. Concerns with ice still on the reservoir; that issue is being monitored. The overflow is opened to the maximum flow. Water is not going over the spillway at this time.

Box Elder County and Brigham City are working today to restock the sandbag supplies. Box Elder Emergency Management is operating at a low-level activation in order to track the issues and keep communications open.

7:00 PM

Debrief for the flight today revealed no significant flooding or damage along the UPRR grade (Lucin Cutoff) until reaching Lucin. Pilot Mountain Road damage seems to be concentrated in the Lucin area. Significant damage was observed to the UPRR and roads west of Lucin to the Nevada border. No damage was noted in the Bear River drainage from Corinne north to Cutler Dam. Water is flooding into fields adjacent to the Bear River in many locations. A number of photographs were taken and will be reviewed and analyzed next week.

Cutler Reservoir has increased the outflow to 9500 CFS. Again this is a maintenance procedure to simply compensate for flow going into the reservoir. Cutler Dam is not at risk.

4400 West in Elwood is closed due to water damage.

No change in the Naf road.

Lynn Reservoir is full but stable at last report. Overflow is at maximum flow.

Grouse Creek Road has an approximate two (2) mile section where portions are covered in water. This section of roadway is located about half way between UT-SR30 junction and the community of Grouse Creek. High profile vehicles would be recommended to travel this route. The condition of the Grouse Creek Road north to Goose Creek and Idaho is unknown. The last report received the road into Oakley, Cassia County ID was passable by high profile vehicle only.

The Pilot Mountain Road from Lucin to Wendover is closed due to the washout of the UPRR Crossing at Lucin; this means there is no through traffic available from UT-SR30 to Wendover. It is reported that a number of people are attempting to get to Montello NV by way of the Pilot Mountain Road from Wendover north and getting stuck. There is no land route available from Box Elder County to Montello NV at this time. Road closed signs will be posted in Tooele County on Pilot Mountain Road. This road is available for local traffic only. Box Elder and Tooele County agencies are coordinating efforts in regards to this issue.

02/10/2017

Overnight news from Montello NV area was reports of increased flooding. Extensive damage to the highway and also to the UPRR grade. Both are closed with an unknown date of repair. Road personnel interviewed estimated the road would not be open until March or April.

Cutler Dam will be increasing their release of water to maintain the reservoir to proper levels. Peak release is estimated to be Sunday/Monday and could be as much as 8000 CFS. They are currently at 5200 CFS. Anyone having livestock anywhere downstream along the Bear River are urged to monitor water levels very closely and be prepared to move the animals to higher ground.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge main road continues to be open at this time. Auto Tour is closed. With the release of water from Cutler Dam the water levels will rise. Before going you should check at 435-723-5887 for an update.

Elwood City reports some sluffing of hillsides at Peterson Park. There has been some water running across 4400 West in this area and causing some sluffing of the road shoulder. The road is not compromised at this time but is being monitored closely.

Naf Road is open to high profile vehicles only. There is water crossing in several areas and Highway personnel has shored up the areas with rock but they are still beginning to wash out.

Reports are coming in that water is beginning to run over 25600 North in Snowville.

3:00 pm Box Elder Sheriff has just been notified that the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is being closed.

Cutler Dam personnel report that the release is presently at 6500 CFS and due to the amount of water entering the reservoir they estimate that the peak release could be as much as 9000 CFS on Sunday.

02/09/2017

Overnight there were reports of serious flooding in Montello NV area with severe flooding and an earth dam breach at a reservoir (21 Mile or 23 Mile). Hope was that Dake Reservoir would contain the water. Deputies confirmed during the night that the main highway NV-SR233/UT-SR30 had breached about one mile west of the UT/NV state line. UPRR tracks were compromised in the area of Montello NV shutting down rail service. UT-SR30 is closed at the Curlew Junction (UT SR30/SR42) to through traffic. At this time there are no issues with the highway in Utah but is restricted to local traffic only.

During the day Sheriff Potter confirmed the highway breach that continued to get more severe. Box Elder Road Supervisor and Sheriff Potter found the UPRR Crossing at Lucin on the Pilot Mountain Road had washed out; making that road impassible from Lucin south.

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge has closed the auto tour loops due to the issues. There is water flowing slightly at the Texas Crossings (dips) but is not closed at this time. Please check with the front desk for updates at 435-723-5887. At this time the Eagle Day Tours are canceled.

Cutler Dam is beginning to release water to offset the water entering the reservoir. The dam is not in any danger; the water is simply being released as routine maintenance of the levels.


02/08/2017  

Late Tuesday 02/07/2017 Weber County breached the road in their county at the intersection Box Elder 2000 West and Weber County 4000 North to relieve pressure of water on homeowners. The pipe at this intersection was unable to handle the volume of water trying to go through it.

Water running over the Naf Road from Strevell to Yost. Culverts under the road were at capacity and cannot handle all the rain and snowmelt coming off of the mountain/fields. If it continues to increase it is likely the road will wash out and/or have to be closed. Attempts are being made to limit the traffic at this time.

Reports are coming that the Lynn Reservoir is overflowing. This was checked by Box Elder Road personnel and proven false. The water is not anywhere near going over the spillway. The estimate is as much as 15 ft buffer is still available for the water to rise before it gets to the spillway.