Cleanup begins as storms flood Draper homes
DRAPER, Utah — Draper officials and residents are cleaning up and assessing damage after a "high-intensity rain event" hit the city, causing road damage and major flooding in homes.
Mayor Troy Walker spoke to residents and the media on Friday as clean-up efforts commenced, promising to send available help and resources to those in need.
It's not clear exactly how many residents were impacted by damage as the city is still attempting to collect data after the storm.
"This has been a year for water in our city," he said. "We had another event last night that caused a lot of damage to people's homes. There's a number of folks in our community that had their basements flooded...again, some of them."
FOX 13 meteorologist Dani Ruberti reports Draper received 2.67 inches of rain since Tuesday night.
"Our storm drain system is capable of handling a typical storm," remarked Draper City Manager David Dobbins. "As Mayor Walker said, this was not a typical storm in any regard."
Walker issued a state of emergency just after 1 a.m. Thursday morning as rain pounded down on the city, hitting especially hard on the mountainside, in the area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple.
"I know what it feels like myself, my own house was damaged last night," Walker said of the flooding. "I can sympathize with our residents and again this year is an unprecedented year.
VIDEO: Draper homes damaged by 'feet' of flooding, broken windows, mudslides
"Water was just gushing in. It was like a flash flood," said Barbara Hazard, whose home in Draper was damaged by the storm.
She and her husband Don are in their 90s and have been married for 71 years. They've lived in this home for 12 years.
"By the time I looked out the door... it started leaking in, and then it became harder and harder and harder, and more and more and more water," Don said. "There was no stopping it."
They're now hoping that the items with personal meaning in their basement will be salvageable, including photo albums, books, and even Don's uniforms from the Marines.
Lots of people came to help the Hazards in their time of need.
"People who showed up from first thing, from first light, to help get everything cleaned out," said Lee Rowe, their son-in-law. "It's a community, and unfortunately, Don and Barbara were some of the only people that got affected... Fortunately, there were a lot of people who didn't get affected in this area that have been able to help."
Their grandson has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the couple with the costs.
Sunrise giving a better view of some of the damage caused by fast moving, intense thunderstorms Thursday night, there are road closures like here at Highland Dr. & 1300 East and Draper’s mayor declared a state of emergency until further notice so crews can complete repairs pic.twitter.com/tAMZASGtzp
Bangerter Parkway between 13800 South and Highland Drive was shut down due to flooding and road buckling, but it was reopened just before 9:30 a.m., although one lane remain closed.
"One lane was damaged on the West side of the road," explained Dobbins. "That will be out of use for some time until we assess it and determine what needs to be fixed."
Other roads such as Highland Drive and Minuteman Drive were also impacted by rain and damage, but by Friday afternoon, all roads were reopened.
While most of the mess on the roads was cleaned up by Friday afternoon, damage assessment is ongoing, and residents are now faced with the difficult task of cleaning their own homes.
One family self-evacuated their home due to potential danger after part of the ground under it washed away. Dobbins said an official visited the site and determined the home was not in imminent danger.
Community members also questioned if homes located around the area where two homes slid down the mountain in April were still safe after the massive amount of rainfall.
Dobbins said the neighborhood continues to be safe for residents saying, "the work that has been done has not been damaged from what we can tell so far."
As clean-up begins, officials are asking homeowners to report any damage their property or home may have suffered as city leaders evaluate if they can receive any further government assistance.
In addition, if residents notice any other damage to city roads or sidewalks, they're being asked to report it by emailing [email protected].
The Utah Highway Patrol sent out an alert that the on-ramp to Interstate 15 southbound at 14600 South had been shut down due to a slide.
The storm came in from the southwest and rolled into the Draper and Sandy areas, bringing heavy rain and lightning.
One report says a part of the road near Traverse Ridge has collapsed, although the extent is not yet known.
Drivers are being told to avoid the areas near the road closures through the remainder of the evening.
Guests at USANA Amphitheater in West Valley City were evacuated during The Offspring/Sum 41 concert due to the weather, with people being advised to get to their vehicles and stay there.
In Sandy, the Leagues Cup game involving Real Salt Lake and Leon at America First Field was originally delayed due to the lightning, and then postponed until Friday night.