HOUSING + HOMELESSNESS

Homeless advocates call for extended shelter options amid flooding risks

Apr 26, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: Oct 26, 2023, 1:07 pm

Utah's spring runoff has prompted a state of emergency declaration, caused evacuations and carried ...

Salt Lake County Health Department workers clean up homeless encampments in Salt Lake City on Dec. 9, 2020. Officials are now visiting homeless encampments to warn the unsheltered of the risk of camping near rising streams (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s spring runoff has prompted a state of emergency declaration, caused evacuations and carried away two homes in a landslide.

KSL.com reporter Ashle Fredde reports that state, county and city officials have continued to assure neighborhoods and residents about flood mitigation efforts. Salt Lake County said multiple divisions are assessing and activating flood control efforts to protect people and property. Sandbagging efforts are ongoing across the state and high-risk areas have been highlighted by the Salt Lake County Emergency Management team.

Areas along Red Butte, Emigration, City, Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood and Mill creeks are at the highest risk of spring runoff flooding caused by this year’s record-breaking snowpack. It is not uncommon to find homeless encampments in some of these areas, which is a growing concern for homeless advocates.

Winter overflow options and expanded capacity at homeless resource centers have begun closing, with normal capacity levels set to resume on May 1. The number of people using shelters has started to decline, while camping is on the rise, according to city data.

“Over the next two and a half weeks or so, everybody that’s been in overflow, which is about 600 people, will be displaced to the streets,” said Wendy Garvin, executive director of Unsheltered Utah. “These are all clearly people who want to be in shelter, who have chosen shelter, and who are now being forcibly moved out onto the streets. And then at the same time, there’s all this flooding risk that’s going on.”

Garvin pointed to Cottonwood Park as a high-risk area that is often utilized by the unsheltered population in the summer months.

“We’ve had floods before, right? They go up to your ankle or your leg, like your shin. But these floods that we’re expecting are of a different nature. And so, I’m really afraid that in the middle of the night, people’s tents are literally going to just get swept down the river,” said Garvin.

Ashle Fredde’s complete story continues at KSL.com.

 

We want to hear from you.

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

Housing + Homelessness

FILE -- The gathering room at the YCC Family Crisis Center in Ogden is pictured on Tuesday, July 9,...

Heather Peterson

Transitional housing for domestic violence victims opening soon in Ogden

Victims of domestic violence will soon have another way to escape dangerous situations in Weber County. The YCC Family Crisis Center is building transitional housing by way of a new 14-unit apartment complex in Ogden to house domestic violence victims. Domestic violence is cited as the reason 22-57% of women experience homelessness by the National […]

7 days ago

The housing market in Utah is competitive and shows minimal signs of slowing....

Aimee Cobabe

Unwelcome Home: Exploring the challenges of buying a home in Utah

The housing market in Utah remains as competitive as ever. Some people are braving it, some just can't stand it.

16 days ago

Nationally, economists think retiring baby boomers downsizing their homes could be a rapid solution...

Don Brinkerhoff

Utah’s housing shortage: Could baby boomers downsizing be the solution?

Nationally, economists think retiring baby boomers downsizing their homes could be a rapid solution to the housing shortage.

19 days ago

Single-family homes under construction in Saratoga Springs are pictured on Tuesday, July 19, 2022....

Adam Small

2023 saw far fewer building permits in Utah, report says

The Ogden-Clearfield metro area had the biggest percentage decline in building permits year-over-year, nose-diving by 34%.

26 days ago

An empty bedroom is seen in an affordable housing building run by Central City Concern, a Portland-...

HALLIE GOLDEN and CLAIRE RUSH, AP

Micro-apartments are back after nearly a century, as need for affordable housing soars

"Micro-apartments," small single rooms with a shared kitchen or bathroom, are popping up around the country.

29 days ago

Utah's economic growth has slowed year over year, with the Department of Workforce Services reveali...

Eric Cabrera

Fewer people moving to Utah means slower economic growth

Utah's economic growth has slowed, with the Department of Workforce Services revealing fewer people are migrating to Utah than years prior.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

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.

Homeless advocates call for extended shelter options amid flooding risks