UTAH FLOOD WATCH

Ogden Valley’s biggest flood risk is groundwater, not the Ogden River, according to resident

May 19, 2023, 7:00 PM

Groundwater not Ogden River...

Water levels are high in the Ogden River after a record snowfall year in Weber County on Monday, May 8, 2023. Ogden Valley residents’ biggest problem with flooding isn’t the Ogden River, it’s groundwater, according to Huntsville resident.

HUNTSVILLE, Utah — Ogden Valley residents’ biggest problem with flooding isn’t the Ogden River, it’s groundwater.

Huntsville resident Joshua Irvine is spearheading the community flood mitigation efforts in his town.

While the Ogden River is running rapidly and at high levels, Irvine says the river isn’t the communities biggest problem.

According to Irvine, every day residents get more news of homes with flooded basements.

He says residents have to be reactive rather than proactive with their efforts to prevent flooding. Their main efforts are trying to get water out of homes once it’s come in. According to Irvine, sandbags don’t do much to stop the groundwater. Instead, residents are helping move furniture out of basements and pumping water out as fast as they can.

“We’ve shifted a lot more from sandbagging to now trying to protect primary residents,” he says. “And then also to start getting water out of basements.”

People are running sump pumps 24/7, often blowing breakers, according to Irvine. He also says they are staying up all hours of the night just to try and stay on top of the flooding.

He says the groundwater is almost impossible to stop, and the community keeps getting more and more of it as temperatures climb.

Along with this, he says taking care of the flooding has taken work from the entire community.

“There’s a lot of people who have been taking time off work … in order to facilitate serving their community,” he says. “We couldn’t do this without that collective effort.”

Devin Oldroyd contributed to this article.

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Ogden Valley’s biggest flood risk is groundwater, not the Ogden River, according to resident