NORTH OGDEN -- As a result of snowpack levels being higher than normal, flooding has become a problem in Utah. But the higher-than-usual water levels in the rivers are not the only problem flood-fighting volunteers face.
Delon Atkinson spent Monday night and Tuesday morning delivering sand and sandbags to people along the Weber River.
When he returned to check on the sandbags later Tuesday morning, Atkinson noticed some problems.
"A lot of times, people don't place the sandbags correctly," he said. "Sometimes the sandbags are filled too full, and after the wall is built, you can stand back and see holes."
Obviously, if you can see through the sandbag wall, Atkinson said, then water can also find its way through the holes. That makes the sandbags ineffective.
Atkinson, of North Ogden, is a volunteer ham radio operator with the Weber County Sheriff's Office. He also has a lot of experience helping prepare for floods by filling and stacking sandbags.
"In North Ogden, we have more floods than anyone," he said.
Atkinson said if the filling and stacking of the sandbags are done right, according to tips from a brochure provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it is very possible to have dry land on one side of the wall.
However, people often make simple mistakes as they try to prevent water from overflowing riverbanks.
"A lot of people are tying sandbags," Atkinson said. "You don't have to tie them. You just need to fill them up three-quarters full and lay them down."
One way to make sure the sandbags are filled correctly is to contact a representative from the county public works department.
Kirk Schmalz, director of the Davis County Public Works Department, said his crews are filling sandbags they can deliver when needed. However, county employees first need to survey the scene.
"If we get a call about flooding, we go out and judge and decide if it's time to take sandbags."