Garland City Mayor declares state of emergency amid continued flooding

Posted at 3:49 PM, Feb 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 00:27:14-05

GARLAND CITY, Utah -- Garland City Mayor Todd Miller declared a state of emergency Thursday due to flooding as ground water continues to rise.

The Mayor and city council activated the Emergency Operations Center Wednesday night, where a special meeting was held to gather data on problem areas around the city.

Hundreds of homes are pumping ground water from their basements, according to the press release, and numerous families have also experienced sewage backup. The Utah National Guard was activated to assist Wednesday, and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox toured the area by ground and by air.

"Probably 90 percent of our citizens have already had water in their basements," Miller said. "We're experiencing higher flood waters today than we have all week, and we expect it to continue to rise."

Squish squash is the theme of the week for these flood victims. Carol Oyler said a few days ago the waters were up to her knees in her Garland front yard.

"As fast as you would pump, it would just keep filling up and I'm thinking, 'What the heck am I going to do,'" Oyler said. "Then you are working 24/7 trying to keep going so you're not losing everything."

Inside the house, she said the water filled up the entire crawl space and was just inches from flowing into the living room.

"It's just going to keep coming, you don't know how to fight it," Oyler said.

She said without the more than 20 heavy-duty pumps provided by the city and county, her house wouldn't even be here.

"Mine would have floated away, and everything underneath it, and everything just gone, full of water," Oyler said.

The press release states public works crews are working around the clock to reduce the water in the city and minimize flooding damage. The American Red Cross of Utah is also assisting displaced families with emergency needs. The EOC is working with Box Elder County Emergency Manager Mark Millet.

Dumpsters will be placed around town to allow citizens to dispose of debris. Homes equipped with septic tanks are encouraged to minimize water usage, as the high ground water may compromise drainage fields.

Officials urge residents using sump pumps to make sure they are sending water into the storm drains and not into the city sewer system.

The Red Cross will open a Multi-Agency Resource Center Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Garland City Hall to assist citizens and answer questions.

The city also expressed gratitude to the, “countless volunteers who are working to help their neighbors.”

Utah Emergency Management encourages those who would like to help those affected by the flooding to donate to the United Way of Northern Utah's Disaster Relief Fund.