Free sandbags available around the Wasatch Back
Warming temperatures and historic snowpack have city and county officials preparing for spring floods.
On Monday, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox declared April as Flood Safety Month amid epic snowfall this winter. Data from the Department of Agriculture shows over 29 inches of water in Utah’s snowpack. That towers over last winter’s 11 inches, and is higher than 1983’s snow amounts, which caused massive flooding on State Street in Salt Lake City.
Park City Municipal set up a sandbag pick-up station at the Public Works building on Iron Horse Dr. on Monday. 84060 residents and businesses can claim up to 25 filled bags. Unfilled bags and sand are also available. The city’s emergency manager Mike McComb said over 450 bags have already been picked up as of Tuesday afternoon.
“They would be best used in low lying areas that are prone to flooding,” McComb said of how to best use sandbags.
“So if you’re a resident or a business that’s along one of the creeks and you’re in a low lying area, then certainly be looking at your property to kind of create a little more height between the water and any entry, or weak, vulnerable areas where water could get in.”
People in Park City can also submit requests by calling the sandbag hotline at (435) 615-5463, and leaving their name, address, and time of pickup.
The city’s public works department is also recommending residents check their insurance coverage, because any policy changes likely won’t take effect for at least 30 days.
McComb said people with sump pumps should make sure they are operating properly and cleaned out. Gutters too. He said Park City benefits from being at the top of the runoff chain, but they are still hoping for a gradual melt as spring arrives.
Outside of Park City proper, sandbag pick-up has been set up in cities from Kamas to Coalville and Oakley - Coalville is the closest to the Snyderville Basin. A link to the Summit County website with information on each location can be found here.
In Wasatch County, people can visit the sandbagging station at the Wasatch County Public Works Building in Heber City. There’s a drive-through window on the north side of the building for people to check in with staff for access. From there, they can hand-fill empty bags, which are provided on-site.
The station is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. Those who need to come after hours can contact Hales at email@example.com or 435-657-3544.
For planning purposes, it's estimated that a full sandbag weighs around 40 lbs.