With the spring runoff season starting in earnest, officials at Park City and Summit County are watching the waterways and they have sandbags prepared.
So far, though, they are not raising any alarms.
KPCW spoke with the city’s Emergency Manager Mike McComb, who said at this point, it looks like they have an orderly start to the run-off season.
“Speaking with the National Weather Service the past couple of days, this current round of heating that we're seeing going through the weekend is really advantageous for us,” McComb explained. “Melting off some of those lower to mid-level snowpack levels and really helping us to kind of progress through the season in an orderly fashion.”
Streets Manager Troy Dayley said there are 27 points on their water system that they will be checking, twice a day every day for the next six weeks.
“These are areas that are screens grates that collect debris,” Dayley continued. “We want to make sure those are clean. Make sure that there's no debris floating down that can get stuck in pipes or obstruct the flow of water. We have not seen any problem areas other than just some debris that floats down. An example would be the shoe tree. Over the winter a lot of shoes follow that tree and they end up down in the screen down at Iron Horse drive in Bonanza, so we’ll pull those out quite often throughout the next few weeks.”
He said they’ve made significant upgrades to the system in recent years.
“Two-and-a-half/three years ago we started a storm water utility,” Dayley said. “We’ve had the opportunity to go out and clean over 11 miles of pipe. Some of that pipe was 50% obstructed with sediments. So, our system is in a lot better shape today than it was even just two years ago.”
They also have a program to offer sandbags to residents.
“Residents can come in at 1053 Iron Horse drive or they can call 615-5301 and ask the receptionist about sandbags,” Dayley explained. “They can come in and they are allowed to get 25 sand bags free. After that there's a nominal fee and that's just mostly to prevent hoarding of sand bags. Then if we do run into problems, we will deploy our efforts, but as far as preparation they can come in and gather sand bags if they want.”
Dayley and McComb advised locals to check their ditches, or any spots where they’ve had flooding problems in the past. Residents should make sure their sump pumps are in working order if they have them.
The topic also came up at Wednesday’s Summit County Council meeting. County Manager Tom Fisher gave a brief status report.
“We’re not in any threat in any of our tributaries at this point for high water or flood stage,” Fisher continued. “We're keeping close contact on that the state as well as any anecdotal information that we get from citizens out there or anybody else patrolling around.”
The county is also offering sandbags, at their Public Works headquarters in Wanship.
“There’s electronic gauges in all of our streams that go back to a central database that we follow,” Fisher said. “We're out watching them as well.
“It looks like really warm weather coming up into this weekend,” Council Chair Roger Armstrong noted.
Fisher replied saying, “Even with the projections of weather that everybody seeing they're not expecting enough quick melt off to--it's going to speed up this time of year—but we’re watching it.”