Why wasn't Saratoga Springs ready for the flood?

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  • Cat Trivia Ogden, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 8:13 p.m.

    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.

  • Puddles Grand Forks, ND
    Sept. 5, 2012 7:56 p.m.

    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.

  • WillTheWolf SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 6:04 p.m.

    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.

  • I Heart Herriman Herriman, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 4:59 p.m.

    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 development.

  • Most Truthful and Patriotic Layton, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    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?

  • Lehi'i Lehi, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 3:14 p.m.

    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 than reasonably.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 1:43 p.m.

    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.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 5, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    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 correct.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 5, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    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.

  • Thunder Orem, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    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!

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 5, 2012 4:23 a.m.

    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.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 11:27 p.m.

    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 to lead.