Hope buoys those with homes on Ogden River

Jun 2 2011 - 11:20pm

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(KRISTIN HEINICHEN/Standard-Examiner) Mike Laughter, a Hooper resident whose family has six cabins on the river in Ogden Canyon, says sandbags are ready if the river rises.
(KRISTIN HEINICHEN/Standard-Examiner) Sandbags are in place Thursday at Hodgepodge Lodge in Ogden Canyon in preparation for rising water.
(KRISTIN HEINICHEN/Standard-Examiner) Mike Laughter, a Hooper resident whose family has six cabins on the river in Ogden Canyon, says sandbags are ready if the river rises.
(KRISTIN HEINICHEN/Standard-Examiner) Sandbags are in place Thursday at Hodgepodge Lodge in Ogden Canyon in preparation for rising water.

HUNTSVILLE -- As rain continues to fall and snow continues to melt, residents are keeping an eye on the high levels of the Ogden River.

Owners of most of the properties along the Ogden River in Ogden Canyon use the houses as vacation homes or weekend getaways. In many cases, sandbags guard the properties against rising water levels.

But some along the river reside there year-round.

Huntsville resident Ray Tidwell said he sees the river rise dramatically every spring. At the moment, he feels safe.

His home sits above and away from the river. The home is also protected by a diversion dam, which was built in the early 1960s and designed to withstand a 100-year flood.

"If it goes over 2,300 square feet," Tidwell said, "then it goes over the diversion dam. Then we're in trouble."

His daughter-in-law, Jennifer Tidwell, is visiting from Pueblo, Colo., and does not recall the river ever being at this level.

"I've been out here 10 years, every year, and I haven't see it this high," she said.

She said she came from drought conditions and wishes the rain would move over to Colorado.

"I hope some of the rain follows us home."

Nearby, Hooper resident Mike Laughter said he is following the weather and monitoring the latest flood news.

Laughter's family has owned property on the river's edge since 1908. Six cabins are there at the moment.

Like Tidwell's, the Laughter family cabins are built above the river line. The property is not at risk right now, but the family is concerned nonetheless.

"There's always a concern," Laughter said. "There's a lot of snow."

The family has supplies ready in case the water does get higher.

"We have sandbags at our sheet metal shop that we can have up here at a moment's notice," Laughter said.

However, there is more concern for his West Haven sheet metal shop, Controfab, as flooding continues in the western part of Weber County.

"The fact is, it won't quit," Laughter said.

Closer to the mouth of the canyon, resident Craig Schlichting keeps himself informed of the flood warnings and is prepared to sandbag an area of his house if need be. His home sits mostly higher than the river as well.

Across the river, however, cabins used as weekend homes have water at the doorway. Residents are hopeful the rains will stop and water levels will drop enough so all residents are spared flood damage.

"My hope is, it doesn't get much higher and nobody gets any flooding," Schlichting said. "We'll just wait and see."

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