Residents cleaning up after dozens of homes flooded in Salem

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jul 20, 2017

SALEM, Utah -- Rhonda Maag said Wednesday evening sounded like constant thunder, but she did not expect her home to flood.

“All of a sudden you could hear just the flood," she said. "It was just a flash flood coming through my yard out the back from the road."

Maag and her family spent Thursday cleaning up their yard, picking up shards from a broken window, and drying out their basement.

“My poor dogs were in their kennels, and they were swimming," she said. "So that tells you something. It was pretty high."

Maag said juggling mom duties, watching a group of kids at her house (her own children, her nieces, and some neighbors), while trying to do damage control was a little bit of chaos.

“I was like 'I don’t know what to do!' Cause we’ve never been in a flood like that," she said.

Luckily, she said, neighbors were quick to come help. They helped pull the carpet and padding out of the basement, as well as all of the furniture and toys, which are now in her garage.

Chief Brad James with Salem police said public works personnel and volunteers stacked sandbags in strategic locations Wednesday, but could not save every single home. They just simply did not have the resources.

Maag was upset about that and the lack of drainage into the storm drains she and other residents have complaints about.

“I understand why people are frustrated," James said. "This was an act of nature we don’t see a lot, and we had a high volume of water dumped on us in a short amount of time. But I can honestly tell you that our infrastructure worked really well.”

Unfortunately for the Maag family and some neighbors, their insurance does not cover what they lost.

“We found that out yesterday: Does not cover any rain water," Maag explained. "Your kids have to put the hose in or you have to flood the house yourself... so we're all having to dig into our own pockets and pay for everything ourselves, which is kinda stressful."

Police estimate 50 homes were damaged and they are waiting for more people to report damage. James said at least 100 homes have to be damaged before they can request government relief.