Riverdale forwards disaster declaration to the state

Jul 1 2011 - 11:39pm

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Courtesy photo
Spring flooding along the Weber River parkway in Weber County.
Courtesy photo
Spring flooding along the Weber River parkway in Weber County.

RIVERDALE -- City officials are officially seeking financial help to handle flood damage by sending a disaster declaration to state officials.

It could cost the city as much as $1 million to restore river banks that have been eaten away by floodwaters, Riverdale Fire Chief Doug Illum said.

If the disaster declaration is approved, the city would be responsible for 25 percent of the costs. However, volunteer efforts could be counted toward the city's share.

The remaining 75 percent would be provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state.

City officials are watching water bodies upstream including Lost Creek, East Canyon, Rock Port and Echo to predict what is coming this way.

"The (Weber) river is down, but we still have a lot of snow in the mountains to come down," Illum said. "We are still going to have high water well into July."

In the meantime, the city has been clearing debris from storm drains and advising residents to restrict what they wash down the gutters.

The city has found it necessary to have a worker wash down storm drain grates every four hours to deal with the obstructions. Litter and grass clippings are the top culprits.

"It could be a contributing factor in the flooding of homes" in the River Glen subdivision, Mayor Bruce Burrows said.

Crumbling river banks mean the city has to shut down hiking trails.

"We just don't want people down there. The trail has washed into the river and the trail is undercut," Illum said. "Until we can get a good damage assessment and the water lowers, we are telling people to just walk on their sidewalks. I'm afraid we could lose a life."

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