Cache County residents fill sandbags to protect homes amid flooding

Posted at 9:42 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 12:23:13-04

CACHE COUNTY, Utah -- Several areas in Cache County flooded on Wednesday and Thursday, after rising waters and wet weather filled basements and covered roads with water.

Cache County Emergency Management said the three rivers in the area either came dangerously close to flooding or breached the flood stage.

The Little Bear River, which flows from the Porcupine Reservoir, flooded the worst, the county said.

Water rushed into the town of Avon. It covered roads, led to one road closure and seeped into homes.

"It just came in so quick, before we could get everything out," said Matthew Hennessy, of how the water flooded his next door neighbor's home. "It was pretty significant damage."

He said a few feet of water and sewage filled his neighbor's basement. On Thursday, he and a cleanup crew brought all of his neighbor's belongings out of the basement.

The water threatened to flood another home near his.

"It was starting to come down through the fields, and it ended up cutting us off and coming right across the front yard," Hennessy said.

They tried to stop the high waters from spreading by laying down sandbags to contain the water.

Upstream on Cole Evans' property, upwards of 50 people jumped in to build a sandbag wall.

"It was flooding down through this area here," Evans said, pointing to a field that leads to houses.

The river decided to run its own course through his property before they contained it. His home is okay, but others weren't so lucky.

"We're seeing basements that [have] been flooded that [have] never been flooded," said Paradise Fire Department Chief Troy Frederickson.

He said he went from house-to-house all day, helping get water out of basements and installing pumps.

But it's not just flooding he was worried about.

"We've got landslides that's slipping up here above some homes," Frederickson said.

He said they're still bracing for more flooding, especially as warmer weather moves back in and melts the snow that fell on Thursday.

In the Paradise church parking lot, the community filled hundreds of sandbags.

"I wanted to help my neighbors," said Richard Bingham, who lives near the flooded homes in Avon.

By Thursday night, Cache County Emergency Management reported that river levels began to drop, and said the waters should recede.