Homeowners drying out flooded houses

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NORTHERN UTAH -- Cleanup continues in two Herriman and Grantsville neighborhoods where flood waters caused a big mess Wednesday afternoon. But the skies haven't cleared, and homeowners fear they might get dumped on again.

Flood cleanup in Herriman

Residents who live in the area near 12600 South and 6000 West are doing anything they can to get rid of the flooding mess caused by the huge thunderstorm. One of the homeowners who saw the worst of it let our cameras into his house Thursday.

Shaun Bunderson's basement was unfinished, but he still will have to replace a water heater, a furnace and some electrical panels. This isn't the first time he's had to deal with this, either. His basement and his neighbor's basement flooded when a similar storm dumped heavy rain two years ago.

Bunderson and his neighbors thought they had fixed the problem, now they're just frustrated.

"It's frustrating. I don't know what we could have done. I had a berm. It happened to me two years ago, and I had a berm up there as it was. The water came in so fast, it just went right over the top of it. I mean, it filled up my basement like that within 10, 15 minutes," Bunderson said.

His neighbor, Tennille Vance, told us, "This is what's sad. What can we do to prevent it if it's going to happen again? I mean, apparently our lot might be the drainage lot ,so this is something we'll have to figure out why our house is even built here."

Both homeowners hope to work with Herriman City and Salt Lake County to determine what they might be able to do to prevent this from happening in the future.

Flood cleanup in Grantsville

Meanwhile, homeowners in Grantsville are also spending the day cleaning up after a long night of rainfall and flooding.

A short but powerful thunderstorm Wednesday night left several homes there inundated with water. Firefighters say nearly a dozen homes were damaged by flooding, three to four of those seriously.

Karen is one of the unlucky homeowners who made a valiant effort to block the water from seeping in, but failed. "It's just unbelievable," she said. "It came in so quickly, probably within 20 minutes the whole basement was flooded."

Another homeowner said, "It poured in through the door. We just couldn't stop it. So we grabbed whatever we could -- blankets and towels. It didn't do any good. We had four to five inches down here."

One woman told us her basement filled with six feet of water. But as the water poured in, so did the neighbors. Dozens of people helped victims clear their basements of water into the early morning hours.

Firefighters say some of the water came from the nearby fields but most of it was from the thunderstorm.

Preventing and minimizing water damage

On Thursday, we also got some advice from David Mefford of the Utah Flood and Fire Network on what every homeowner should know about preventing and dealing with flooding.

To prevent water damage, Mefford suggests homeowners:

  • Clean debris from gutters and ditches
  • Aim downspouts away from house
  • Fill in low spots around the house, especially around window wells and flower beds to prevent water from accumulating.
  • Turn off sprinklers, because the additional water will compound the problem.

If water has entered the house, Mefford suggests:

  • Moving contents and furniture away from wet areas
  • Extracting as much water as possible from rugs and carpets
  • Using fans to dry wet items
  • Hiring a professional to come in and help

More thunderstorms are in the forecast for parts of Utah. [CLICK HERE] for the KSL weather page.


Story compiled with information from Courtney Orton, Shara Park and Randall Jeppesen.


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