Sandbags illegally placed in Willow Creek divert water into neighborhood
The Summit County Sheriff is investigating who put orange sandbags into a ditch that diverted water into Willow Creek Park and neighboring backyards.
A concerned neighbor called the Summit County Sheriff’s office around 5 a.m. Monday when they saw water pouring over Old Ranch Road and into Willow Creek Park. According to Sheriff's Sergeant Felicia Sotelo, it’s illegal to dam or divert public waterways.
Sotelo said, in the middle of the night, about 10 orange sandbags were placed into Willow Creek at the southwest corner of Old Ranch Road and Split Rail Road.
Dana Jones is the district director of Basin Recreation, which manages Willow Creek Park. She said the sandbags caused the creek to divert from its normal flow parallel to Old Ranch Road, into the Willow Creek Park and pond.
“It did cause Willow Creek Pond to fill and overflow. Fortunately, there wasn't too much water," Jones said. “And it's able to go down into the drain. But you know, much more water and it could cause a lot more problems.”
Jones said Basin Recreation doesn’t have jurisdiction over the creek in that area but is working with the sheriff’s office to find out who put the sandbags there and why.
“We're still trying to get a hold of whoever put them in there, just to have a discussion with them and figure out what was going on and what the thought was for that," Jones said. “If there had been another problem and that happened that it's trying to alleviate, that we don't know about just to try to be, you know, as responsible as possible with where the water's going.”
Jones said many of the sandbags have been removed by the county and some nearby residents.
The sheriff’s office told deputies to keep an eye on the area.