Above-average snowfall and a February thaw spelled recent flooding concerns in Morgan County, said County Emergency Manager Ian Nelson.
So far this year, county officials have had their eyes on five locations throughout the county, only one of which experienced flooding inside the home.
At 2710 S. Highway 66, the unfinished basement did flood. With the help of fire department crews, the water was pumped out.
At 4110 Peterson Creek Lane, water from a stream leading to a culvert and eventually a canal overflowed into the yard, Nelson said. County crews drilled out the culvert that may need to be increased in size in the future, he said. With 200 sandbags and tractors building up the walls of the creek, no water ever entered the home.
At the Aspen Meadows townhomes near Kent Smith Memorial Park in Mountain Green, the river rose to high levels. Since, it has receded. Nelson said the home owners association there is considering placement of shed that would store sandbags for use if the river breached its banks.
Cottonwood Mutual Water Company’s reservoir outside the Cottonwoods kept a close eye on rising water levels, which eventually did spill over. “They were proactive, and (the water levels) have gone down,” Nelson said. Crews stockpiled two piles of sand nearby, and Mountain Green volunteers assembled to fill sand bags.
At a Whittear Farms bridge, water ran over the bridge. Placing sandbags on both sides of the bridge channeled the water to go over the bridge and back into the river, he said.
Nelson said he also checked out the river behind the bowling alley in Morgan City.
Morgan County Councilman asked Nelson to also keep an eye on the river near the county fairgrounds, canal company diversion dams, as well as three mud slides near the Bohman gravel pit.
“Water is coming out of the mountain,” Kilmer said. “It could close Old Highway off.”
“We can’t prevent all the flooding with rapid temperature increases and rain, but we handled it pretty well,” Nelson said, noting that sandbags were used mostly for precautionary measures around window wells and walk out basement doors. He credits the county’s recent success avoid widespread flooding to mitigation efforts since 2011 flooding. “Those efforts have helped us stay ahead of it this year.”