Garden City, Utah • Snow still covers part of the low, middle, and high elevations of Garden City, which is why Mayor Mike Leonhardt issued a state of emergency to help prepare for and combat flooding.
“We’re just really concerned because our lake is still froze over, temperatures are just starting to heat up, like the lower level is just starting to come down and we have all the higher level as well,” Leonhardt said. “We’re just really concerned about the water and how fast it’s going to come down.”
Mayor Leonhardt saw what flooding can do to the community a few years back. The canal filled with snow and ice and, when a February thaw occurred, water started running over the top of the canal.
“It just took out all these homes, lot of damage to the homes here, so we’ve had issues in the past and this is certainly going to be one of those that’s going to be one of the worst we’ve seen in a while,” he said.
Leonhardt says land sliding caused a pipe fracture in part of the city’s main canal. To prevent the landslide from getting worse, they had to divert water through multiple culverts.
“If that pipe breaks, that whole thing is going to come down all these homes, townhomes, so we’ve had to create this water up in this canal in two or three different places to get it out of this section so it’s away from these homes,” Leonhardt said.
With around 80% of homes in Garden City being vacation homes or short-term rentals, Mayor Leonhardt is encouraging all homeowners to come check their property.
“Most of them that have second homes here have had them for a while, and I think they understand we do get some water coming down so it’s just being proactive with their own homes, just making sure if you’ve been in a flood zone before, start doing sandbagging now,” Mayor Leonhardt said.
Leonhardt says the city has donated all the sandbags and all of the sand, and all people have to do is come get it.
This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.