MORGAN -- The recent flooding has tested the county's emergency procedures, and officials warn that the worst may not be over yet.
"We're dealing with paranoia in the public," said Terry Turner, Morgan emergency management director.
"East Canyon Creek is our problem. Everything that comes from the Uintas, we're going to get," Turner said, noting his concern for the Peterson and Hardscrabble areas as well.
Turner said that, after a flood of media inquiries and calls from concerned residents, the biggest problem so far has been keeping communication centralized.
"We're getting better organized. It takes a lot of coordination. We're trying to correct things and do better."
Turner suggested that council members, media representatives and concerned residents all contact him at 801-845-4048.
He also said that during the "panic" of a flood, it is best to keep the general public out of the county's command center. Lately, this has been the fire/ambulance station in Morgan city.
"There's a lot of confusion. We got overwhelmed with people. It gets out of control and we can't hardly tell what we're doing," Turner said.
"We need to keep the general public out to really get a hard grip of what is going on."
He has already dealt with several waves of flooding in the county and has found that security of sandbags is one of his top concerns.
County officials have found it necessary to keep their 30,000 sandbags under lock and key. The county has ordered another 30,000 sandbags in anticipation of more flooding.
"We are not furnishing sandbags for agricultural property," he told the county council Tuesday. "If homes are threatened, we will provide them for that. That's the stand we've taken. I hope you understand that."
Turner said the county has already incurred a few thousand dollars in expenses fighting this year's flooding, but anticipates much more spending.
"If there is a big event, we could go through the money pretty fast," he said.
With East Canyon Reservoir 80 percent full and filling at four times its normal rate, county officials know they may have a lot ahead of them.
"This is just a warning shot, I think. We could be doing this for another month and a half," Turner said. "It's going to be a long spring."
He said county officials may need to be prepared to ask the state and federal government for flood assistance in the near future.
He also cautioned private individuals from using their own heavy equipment in streambeds.
"We've got to be careful with stream alterations. That's a big issue," Turner said. "We have to be careful (residents) understand what they can and can't do."
"We don't endorse people putting equipment in the stream," said County Attorney Jann Farris. "We have a responsibility to report it to the state if we see people doing it. If people get prosecuted for doing that, the message will get out."
Mountain Green resident William Warner said Gordon Creek in Mountain Green is flooding and asked county officials to draft a letter to the Utah Department of Transportation expressing their support of building a higher bridge over the creek.
"We want (UDOT) to get busy and replace this bridge because it's doing damage to the Mountain Green area."