Every year and season for that matter, we have that darn "... hundred year
flood...".These storms happen on a regular basis. Get prepared
for the next round. Could happen next week, might not happen for a few years.
Guaranteed to happen within the next 100 years.
The fact is that Utah is a desert state. It is not a sponge state like those of
the east and north. In most states the amount of rain that fell would be
considered a sprinkle. Why do you think Utah has run offs that eat your car
along roads. The way water reacts to land here is like watching a dried up
river in Africa become new and disappear as quickly as it came.
It's Utah . . . if the developers have their way, there will be a house on
every speck of dust in that state. In Salt Lake & Utah Counties alone,
there are probably 20-30 subdivisions in areas where there should not be homes
and are doomed to a similar natural disaster sooner or later.
The article's question is fairly ridiculous and is sad that it is even
having to be asked as an afterthought:"Could something have been
done to prevent this?Yes, many things, starting with responsible,
accountable development.With all of the world's economic and
environment challenges, we need to be smarter about all things, with land
development an utmost concern. The ills being visited on this community and
indeed the repair funds needed could have been nullified by responsible
This was inevitable, and remediation was in order.Even sandbagging
alternate flow channels, in case of a storm, would have helped. Cutting
channels with heavy equipment. Digging diversions. Making sure those
diversions weren't filled with debris.The lack of foresight is
stunning.Also, building homes in the path of flood channels is bad
planning. Doesn't Saratoga Springs have any way to insure that homes
aren't built in such areas?
Look, it is a tough time, but the homeowners had two months to get flood
insurance in place. People need to stop and think for a few minutes, if you see
a potential for harm to your property, the best thing to do is figure out how to
get insurance to help in case things go wrong.Relating to the
city's responsibility, as I understand it, the fire occurred on BLM and
SITLA (School Trust lands) land on the border of Saratoga Springs. According to
an article on KSL, Saratoga had already (in 2 months) contacted the BLM, and
SITLA to coordinate how to mitigate any of these issues realizing that the water
and slide would be migrating from the BLM and SITLA property. These things take
time, especially considering that any measures done would have to be handled on
the property of either the BLM, SITLA or the private land of the homeowners
themselves. To build some kind of basin or something of that sort would require
condemning the property and paying for the land to house the mitigation efforts.
I haven't been the biggest fan of Saratoga, but I think they acted more
This storm was nothing unusual. I grew up out there and the storms that come
over the mt could cause slides even without fire damage. The
city/county/homeowners should have been watching for this, it was bound to
happen sooner or later.
Please spell check the article. Although 'the hunderd year flood,' is
a quote, it appears to have been verbal such that the spelling should be
As in any disaster there were failures all around in this incident. From the
responsibilities of the state all the way down to the individual home owner.
Officials knew that planting replacement foliage to shore-up the topsoil
couldn't be planted until October/November, but other preventive measures
weren't taken in the interim. When Corner Canyon burned a few years ago in
Draper, they placed barriers and other flood deterrents almost immediately.
Canals and dikes could've been built weeks ago. But that doesn't
absolve the responsibility of homeowners to take their own preventive measures
either. I feel bad for all those affected by this event, I really
do. I'm glad to see the community and even surrounding communities pitching
in to help them as they try to put their lives back together. But as others have
said, we only get to blame the government (at any level) after everything
we've done has failed. In most cases like this, our last line of defense,
is also our first line of responsibility.
I love how everyone is blaming the city and Mia Love for this. Why is nobody
questioning what homeowners were doing this whole time? What ever happened to
personal responsibility? I live near a hillside, and when the day comes that it
burns up, the first thing I'm going to do when I get back in my house is
start preparing for the next rainstorm and the inevitable mudslide.This is Utah - we're supposed to be advocates of personal responsibility.
It appears there was none here.
I wish the lot of you would stop bad mouthing this city. It has been two months
since the fire. Two months. I don't know any local government that
typically gets any project completely through a Planning Commission, permits,
design, City Council approval, etc... within two months. It sounds like what is
in planning is a long-term network of buffers which I would think should and has
been initiated and designed well instead of hastily. I think this is an
unfortunate act of nature. As for the whole Lake Bonneville argument, the
entire Wasatch Front should not be here as the Lake enveloped most if not all of
the inhabited land on the Front. Best wishes to the victims, hope the
fundraising goes well!
First of all Miz Love is not a geologist or know anything about Utah geology and
all she has to do is contact the USGS to solve the problem. The USGS will
recommend to condemn all the homes in Saratoga as wrongfully constructed and in
the wrong place. There is a reason why this land was undeveloped for 200 years,
it unstable, Lake Bonneville beach sands, with no bedrock within top soil zone,
and was zoned not for development.These home owners and the west are
valley were all suckered in to homes and property built like shanties to house
the poor and built not last more than 10 years in a no build zone.The proposed Love Canal's will only be band-aid fixes for a geologically
faulty area. If Mia can't stay on top of her duty's as Mayor, how can
we expect her to handle bigger more serious political misadventures? Mia Love is
our of her element to be in politics or care about citizens and their immediate
needs.She is the female Obama in Utah be rushed into the political
arena long before she is experienced enough.
Sounds like their city "leader" was too busy schmoozing Fox News and the
RNC as well as running for her next office to care for the city she was elected