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Santa Clara dam completed

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Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-10 23:02:45-04

SANTA CLARA, Utah -- Mayor Rick Rosenberg says “bring on the rain.” Now that the city’s new retention dam is in place, there’s a better sense of security about summer storms.

For the past several months crews have been working to replace the Laub Wash retention dam. The dam (or dike) broke on September 11, 2012 when a flash flood proved too strong for the 100 year old structure. Several feet of flood water filled the streets of Santa Clara and devastated homes.

“It was a living nightmare, honestly,” says homeowner Christin Olson, recalling the events. “It was like a movie scene.”

The city turned the Olson’s street into a temporary flood channel while crews went to work fixing the dam. Rosenberg says they hoped another flood woundn’t come in the meantime.

“Not having the dam, the retention basin in place meant the Tuacahn Wash, which drains everything clear up into snow canyon was pointed right at the city,” says Rosenberg. “[Flood water] didn’t have a place to go.”

Now that the retention dam is nearing completion, contractors told the city they can remove the temporary barriers that have occupied the Santa Clara neighborhood for the past 10 months. It’s a welcome sight for people who live there.

It’s kind of been a mess for the past 10 months,” says Olson. “Its’ kind of nice to have it all cleaned up. I feel like we can kind of clean up our yard and kind of get back to life as usual.”

“That’s the last reminder,” says flood victim Lisa Dunkley. “Our life is back to normal, but that’s the last reminder every day that we had a flood, so that’s gone, that’s good.”

Crews only have some landscaping and work on the bike trail that will run on top of the dam. Rosenberg says the city is planning a dedication, but may wait until the city’s Swiss Days celebration in the fall.