Residents clean up after flooding in Alpine

Posted at 6:34 PM, Aug 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-23 20:34:54-04

ALPINE, Utah – Heavy rainfall in Utah County caused flooding in Alpine Thursday night, and now residents are working to clean up the mess left behind.

Mud, rock and other debris began tumbling down the hillside when the rain hit. The debris flowed freely because of the lack of vegetation due to the Quail Hollow Fire last summer.

Roman Frazier said he has lived in the area for 30 years, and he said he’s, “never seen anything like this.”

Frazier said he didn’t know his property was facing problems Thursday night until Alpine City officials knocked on his door.

"And stepped in the backyard and realized the wall was diverting most of it around the house, but what was coming underneath the gate filled my pool with mud and ripped the cover and it was going into the pool,” he said.

The problems in Frazier’s backyard were a common sight along and near Alpine Drive, which sits at the base of the Quail Hollow burn scar.

Alpine Mayor Hunt Willoughby said he was out assessing the damage on Friday. He said culverts and other measures have been constructed to try to mitigate the mudslide damage. He said these measures are no substitute for the vegetation that was wiped out by last year’s fire.

"The place where it breached last night is now full, so it'll find somewhere upstream of that to jump the bank and come on down,” Willoughby said.

Resident Carol Smith said in her years in the area she’s never experienced something quite like this.

"Everybody is a little on edge as far as the mountainside,” she said. “I've lived here 21 years, and I've not seen this, so it's a little nerve-racking."

Frazier said the severity of the damage is ultimately a matter of perspective.

"[I’ve] Been through three hurricanes in Florida,” he said. “I've seen the aftermath. I've seen a lot worse, so I do feel fortunate that it wasn't a lot worse. It could have been a lot worse, so you count your blessings I guess.”

Frazier said all he can do at this point is keep a sense of humor, and he said he’s just glad there weren’t any injuries.

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