Southern Utah News Articles
Flooded homeowners vent frustration to Kanab City Council
In a relatively brief Kanab City Council meeting on August 9, Mayor Robert Houston and the city council listened to complaints from Kanab homeowners whose homes were damaged by the flooding that occurred in the August 3 storm. The effects of what someone called a 500 year storm were pronounced in the northern part of the city. At the weather station at the Kanab Middle School, the rainfall measured 1.49 inches, but it was estimated that three to four inches fell in the Vermilion Cliffs bordering Kanab’s north side in 30-45 minutes.
Mayor Houston acknowledged that weather patterns are changing. One person at the meeting commented that the 100 year floods are now occuring every four years.
Kanab City Manager Joe Decker stated he was glad to see that the city’s revision of the Tom’s Canyon flood control project completed last year, from a 50 year to a 100 year flood control level, contributed to limiting the flooding out of that northeast side canyon.
The water was starting to breech the Squaw Trail check dam, and to avoid more damage, the dam was cut to allow water to run down 100 East. This maneuver was not fully appreciated by some townfolk, but was deemed necessary to limit damage to Jacob Hamblin Park, the Kanab City Library and Kane County Hospital, among others.
The mayor praised the contributions of all of the citizens, volunteer organizations and businesses that helped in every which way during and after the flood. “It’s what makes living in this small town great – people pulling together in a time of crisis,” stated Mayor Houston.
During the public comment period, several residents voiced concerns about this flood and what the city plans to do to limit damages in any similar weather event.
Charley Wright, co-owner of Critter Corner, said the water was nearly to his store’s door, and did get into the Verizon store. He wanted to know what the city’s plans were for the future. The mayor replied that it will take money and time to initiate mitigation projects.
Lynn Dolan complained that the city was not maintaining the culverts and suffered considerable loss when her basement flooded with several feet of water. “It appears that the city does not have anybody that knows what to do about flood control in this town, and they should go out and find somebody who does,” emphasized Dolan.
Raven Chiong, residing along 200 North, told the council that the storm drain put in by the city last year was several inches above the gutter and the road, and showed photos of the water running up to her door.
Other residents reported toilets backing up water into their homes and other occurrences reported in last week’s extensive SUN coverage of the flood. Another questioned why the manhole covers were not totally sealed. The city’s sewage drains and runoff water drains are separated, but floodwater apparently entered the sewage drains from the manhole vents and caused toilets to back up in a few homes. All parties voiced their appreciation for the help they received and singled out South Central Communications for bringing equipment and personnel to their aide.
If there are others affected by flood damage that have not informed the city of problems, the city management is open to hearing from them.
An update on the K-Town Plaza found the funding to be $30,000 short of the amount needed to get the project started. The contract needs to be signed now to get the five-six week project completed before the end of this year.