Woodland Hills preps for possible flooding

Oct 1, 2018, 12:38 PM | Updated: 12:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Less than two weeks after wildfires ravaged their homes, Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge residents are getting ready for another disaster. Flash floods are expected to hit tomorrow, with the worst falling on the very homes that were hit hardest by the wildfires.

Utah Emergency Management’s Kathy Holder got ahold of KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic to spread the word about how people in the Woodland area can make sure they’re covered if the flooding damages their homes.

Homeowners insurance, Holder warned, will not cover damages caused by flooding. She’s doing everything she can to make sure Utahns know how they can make sure their homes are covered before it’s too late.

Woodland Hills wildfires lead to floods

Residents of Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills know how important preparation can be. Just weeks ago, the Bald Mountain and Pole Creek fires burned more than 120,000 acres near their homes.

By all rights, the fires should have left their community devastated. Thanks to the tireless work of firefighters and members of the community, however, not a single home was lost.

But the worst is far from over. The fires left a gaping burn scar across the mountain, which puts their communities at a serious risk for flooding.

The community has been working hard to keep each other safe. So far, they have filled an estimated 15,000 sandbags to help keep their friends and neighbors safe before tomorrow’s flash flood warning.

“This community connects. They get together, they work together,” Woodland Hills resident Mike Morris told KSL. “I’ve never been in a community that’s this connected.”

Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding

The aftermath of Hurricane Florence

The aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Fayetteville, N.C.. Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

People in the Woodland Hills area, however, still need to prepare for the worst, according to Utah Emergency Management. They’ve taken to Twitter and contacted KSL to make sure residents know that, unless they opted in for flood insurance, they will not be covered for damages to their homes from flooding.

“This is something I really want all Utahns to be aware of,” Utah Emergency Management’s Kathy Holder told Dave & Dujanovic.

The risk of flooding damage, she says, is a very real threat. “26% of individuals, during a 30-year mortgage, will experience some form of flooding.”

The community’s best bet to stay safe, Holder says, is to sign up for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. However, the program wasn’t available to residents in the Woodland Hills area until just today.

“It actually was not available to them recently because their communities had not joined the national flood insurance program,” Holder explained. “As soon as I realized … I contacted their mayor there and I got them the paperwork to join.”

Last-second coverage

Woodland Hills during the mudslide that, three years ago, forced 14 families out of their homes. Aug. 14, 2015. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

While most insurance plans require a 30-day waiting period to sign up, Holder says that there is still time for people in Woodland Hills area to get last-second coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

“As of this morning, they can go get their flood insurance,” Holder told Dave & Dujanovic. “If that flood comes off that burn scar, then that 30-day waiting period can be waived.”

The program allows last-second coverage, Holder says, because it is backed by FEMA, who have an obligation to make sure everyone has a policy to cover flood risks.

“It’s pretty much the only way that people are going to be able to mitigate and cover their risks,” Holder says.

How to sign up

The National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance program will allow last-second coverage for flood damage. (FEMA)

Holder joked that she “feels like an insurance policy salesman” talking about the plan. No matter the tone, though, she is not spreading the word about the National Flood Insurance Program for her own profit or as part of a paid advertisement.

Instead, she feels that this is a way to do her part to help the people in Woodland Hills. She is worried that people who have survived the wildfires might still lose their homes to this flood.

She personally contacted the mayor of Woodland Hills and FEMA to make sure that people could sign up for this program, wanting to make sure that they were able to recover from any damages to their homes.

A plan with $80,000 of coverage costs between $90-$120 annually, according to Holder’s estimates, while a $250,000 plan would cost between $400-$500.

Anyone looking for last-second coverage can learn more about the program and sign up by visiting Floodsmart.gov.

More to the story

You can hear our full conversation with Kathy Holder on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast:

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Listen on Google Play Music

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Dave & Dujanovic

FILE: A "For sale" sign in front of a home in North Salt Lake on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023....

Curt Gresseth

Utah home prices not likely to fall soon, says real-estate expert

Utah home prices are back up and so are interest rates -- and they will stay high says a Utah real-estate expert.

1 day ago

pay gap...

Curt Gresseth

Why is the gender pay gap not closing?

The gender pay gap in the U.S. and Utah is not closing. A Utah financial planner details the impact that wage shortfall can have on a women workers over a career.

6 days ago

a hockey stick shown, utah may get a nhl stadium...

Adam Small

Utah lawmaker asks for $1 billion for an NHL stadium in Salt Lake City

To fund an NHL stadium in Utah, Salt Lake City's sales tax rate would go from 7.75% to 8.25% if the bill is approved.

7 days ago

crime Ballpark...

Curt Gresseth

Cop talks knocking down violent crime in Ballpark Neighborhood

Violent crime in the Ballpark Neighborhood of Salt Lake City is down. A deputy chief details how the SLCPD achieved the results.

8 days ago

UTA Frontrunner commuter rail. UTA Plans to address delays by updating cars and adding a new line t...

Curt Gresseth

UTA boss talks about train delays, says improvements coming

Despite frustrating delays, UTA has a 90 percent "on-time" record, says the executive officer.

9 days ago

social media...

Curt Gresseth and Don Brinkerhoff

Senate committee OK changes to Utah’s Social Media Regulations Act

A Utah lawmaker discusses his social media bill aimed to protect children while parents and a teen testify about loss of a son to suicide and the pain of addiction.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

overhead view of a few aisles in a department store...

Big Deal Outlet

There is a Big Deal coming to Midvale: Local discount chain opens 8th store

If you love the thrill of finding good deals, check out the grand opening of Big Deal Outlet in Midvale from February 29 - March 2.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Woodland Hills preps for possible flooding