West Jordan residents clean up after flooding

Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-15 19:13:54-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- Several people living in a West Jordan neighborhood were hard at work Sunday, cleaning up after flooding that swept mud and water into homes, crushed garage doors, and swamped half a dozen cars.

The city had taken preventative measures just the day before the flooding, building a berm and setting up sandbags to channel runoff water away from Wilshire Place Apartments, located near 9000 South and 6000 West.

But residents said, when the powerful storm hit the area Saturday, the barriers didn't stand a chance.

Several smartphone videos taken by residents show floodwaters rushing through the community, turning streets into fast-moving torrents. Click here for photos and video of the flood waters.

Kristal Talbot said the water stopped just short of her front door.

"I was a little worried that the water would come into our house," Talbot said.

But her neighbors weren't so lucky. West Jordan City Manager Rick Davis said water and mud damaged 25 units. In several, carpet and wood floors were completely destroyed.

"Actually, it was a perfect combination," Davis said. "It was saturated soil, and a big storm, and an elevated piece of terrain. All those factors came together and it meant trouble for these apartments."

Restoration crews descended on the neighborhood Sunday, shoveling mud from apartments and setting up fans to dry up the water-soaked walls.

Davis said hard work by city responders and volunteers was a huge help Saturday night after the storm.

"We're so appreciative to all the volunteers that showed up," Davis said, "especially the Copper Hills Stake. (They) sent out a couple of hundred volunteers out here last night."

Even though things are slowly drying out, Davis said it's going to be a while before things get back to normal. And there's always the threat of another storm.

"We actually believe lightning can strike twice, so we have dug a ditch as well as a berm," Davis said. "So we have beefed up our security to the west here and if this happens again, we have some confidence that it won't overwhelm the berm the way it did this time."