Levee repair still on hold until access road is fixed

Jun 15 2011 - 10:49am

Repairs to a damaged dirt road leading to a broken levee in Warren are continuing this morning.

Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther said officials  hope the road will be completely repaired by Thursday  morning.

The levee, near 5900 West and 400 North, initially broke last week due to the constant pressure of high water on the Weber River.

One-ton sandbags were airlifted into place Friday by Utah National Guard helicopters, but by Sunday, not even those sandbags that were reinforced with thick steel fencing and metal pipes could keep the water from spilling out of the Weber River into a small nearby canal and flooding fields.

Lowther said work on repairing the road is going more quickly this morning because the Utah Department of Transportation has responded to assist crews. 

"It's not just a matter of laying material," he said. "There's huge mud holes that need to be filled in and stabilized."

Work to repair the levee cannot be done until the dirt road is fixed. The break in the levee is about half a mile away from a paved road, and soggy fields and standing water make it nearly impossible to get heavy machinery through.

Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday night that an additional $200,000 in emergency funding has been authorized to help combat the flooding. The funds will be used to help with the repair of the access road, as well as providing a giant crane, trucks, and steel posts. The crane will drive the posts into the ground to create a metal curtain that will hopefully reinforce the repaired levee.

More specific plans about the levee repair will most likely be available later today.

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