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Canal Flood Near Salt Lake City Spells Trouble

Published by 911 Restoration Salt Lake City on May 20, 2014 in category: Water Damage Restoration

What caused last month’s flooding in West Jordan, Utah?

The flooding began with heavy rainfall in the area. This would not normally be an issue, but a local drainage canal became clogged with debris in several locations. This caused the storm waters to overflow and inundate surrounding yards, homes, and streets. The region’s flat terrain allowed the water to quickly flow into residential areas.

What was the extent of the damage?

The strong winds knocked over trees and other structures. Live power lines sparking on the ground posed a hazard to residents, although they did not cause any injuries. Many homes were left without electricity, meaning that basement sump pumps were nonfunctional. Residents were forced to get out of bed in the early morning hours to bail water out of their homes manually. Numerous vehicles were damaged by the floods as well. Automobile engines cannot start once they are flooded; it takes the services of a mechanic to get them in working order. Two semi-trucks were tipped over on a nearby highway, causing serious injuries to one of the drivers.

The damage caused by floods continues even after the water level drops. Residents must then contend with soggy drywall, wet wooden furniture, and moldy carpets. I’ve experienced a few floods myself, and I can verify that this is the most difficult part to cope with due to the fact that some of the damage may not be apparent until several days later. I would suggest that all residents with flooded homes call a water damage restoration company to find out what needs to be done to save their home and possessions from further damage.

How can sandbags protect against water damage?

Sandbags are a quick and inexpensive way to stop the flow of floodwaters. They are typically used by the military, National Guard, and disaster management agencies in heavily flooded areas. The advantage of sandbags is that they are very inexpensive and can be filled with sand or soil from the immediate area. The downside is that they require a great deal of manpower to deploy. Sandbags are most effective when used to redirect water to a drainage area. During the West Jordan floods, city workers brought in a backhoe in an effort to create drainage channels for the water.

What actions can homeowners take to prevent damage if their home is in a flood zone?

Putting up sandbags will block the water or at least redirect it elsewhere. Another important step is to make sure your sump pump is working. Most basements are not 100 percent waterproof, and some water is bound to leak in when the surrounding yard is several inches underwater. An effective sump pump can keep the basement from becoming completely flooded and keep the need for mold remediation at bay. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, consider buying a backup sump pump in case the primary pump fails or cannot cope with the massive amount of water. Remember to install a battery backup as well; you cannot count on electricity being available during a severe flood like the one that struck in West Jordan.

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