Alpine floodwaters diverted to creek as cleanup gets underway
After a wet and busy night, Lone Peak Fire Battalion Chief Joe McRae on Wednesday hailed as a success a public works crews' efforts to halt thunderstorm-triggered flooding in the Utah County town of Alpine.
For now, at least. More storms were expected to cycle over the region through the remainder of the week.
"Today, though, it looks like we came out of this in pretty good shape," McRae said the day after Dry Creek overflowed onto a road and into the basement of a home on Grove Drive. Three neighboring homes escaped flooding, he said, though homeowners awoke Wednesday to water-logged lawns.
"About 8 p.m. [Tuesday] water came out of the Dry Creek Trailhead area, and instead of it all going into the creek as usual, it went down the road, across the road and then into the basement of the house," McRae said.
Alpine public works crews used a backhoe overnight to dig trenches near the trailhead to divert the water into Dry Creek. Those efforts had halted further flooding as cleanup got underway Wednesday morning.
"Hopefully, the trenches will continue to send any [flood] water in the proper direction, to the creek," McRae added. "We'll see; we are supposed to be getting more rain and the mountains up there have soaked up as much water as possible already."
Meanwhile, Utah Department of Transportation crews on Wednesday night were able to clear away debris from a mud slide that closed a 13-mile section of State Road 31 on Tuesday afternoon in Emery County.
UDOT spokesman Kevin Kitchen said the slide was triggered by heavy rainfall in an area of canyon left vulnerable by wildfires last summer.