Homes in Herriman flooded after sudden downpour

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HERRIMAN -- A sudden and serious thunderstorm blasted parts of southern Salt Lake County Wednesday afternoon causing some flooding. The storm swept through a neighborhood near 12600 South and 6000 West in Herriman around 2 p.m.

Crews raced against time, trying to beat another impending downpour. They pumped the water out of flooded basements, dug trenches and laid out sandbags.

For Denise Vance, though, the damage was already done. "It went really fast. Within half an hour it was all over," she said.

Denise lives in the basement of her son's house. "My daughter said, 'This is all of our childhood memories.' This is everything, you know. There's just everything," she said.

No one was home when the rain began to fall, but by the time Denise's daughter-in-law got there, the basement was full of water. "At that point, it was completely all the way up to the rocks where it had already busted out the windows. There was nothing we could have done," Tenille Vance said.

A large cloud burst moving over the area dumped a lot of water on nearby farm fields. "It found the path of least resistance, which, unfortunately, was down the gravel road and into the two basements in this area right here," said United Fire Authority Capt. Clint Smith.

One home had six and a half feet of water in the basement, and the force was so strong it shattered the window. The homeowner didn't want to talk on camera, but he let us inside to see the damage. His basement flooded two years ago.

The same thing happened to Tenille. She landscaped her yard to prevent future flooding, but it didn't help. "This is just something that is probably 10 times worse than it was two years ago," she said.

There's a lot of cleanup left to do, and the Vance family is hoping to salvage what they can. But they say they're just glad no one was hurt. "We'll start over and it'll be OK," Denise said.

After the floods two years ago, homeowners tried to get flood insurance but were denied because they didn't live in a flood zone. Now they're trying to figure out how to keep this from happening again.

Several families have been displaced, but damage estimates are not yet available.

Meanwhile, homeowners in Grantsville also experienced severe flooding Wednesday night. Ten to 12 homes were flooded; three to four of them had serious damage. One woman said she had 6 feet of water in her basement.


Story compiled with contributions from Sandra Yi, Ben Winslow and Courtney Orton.


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