Changes Made After Floods of '83 Paying Off

Changes Made After Floods of '83 Paying Off

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Samantha Hayes reporting There's been a lot of talk about whether flooding this year will be anything like the floods of '83. But even if it is, a lot of changes have been made in the last two decades.

A lot of projects, costing a lot of money. But had these things not been done, experts say we would be in a different situation now.

If you were here for it, you'll never forget it. After the floods of '83, water managers wanted to make sure the same thing wouldn't happen again.

Leroy Hooten/Salt Lake City Public Utilities: "Certainly having those improvements in place are making it easier for us today."

The improvements cost Salt Lake County taxpayers 21 million in 1984.

Debris basins in City Creek were part of the plan..the perforated grates keep tree limbs and other things from clogging the storm drain.

Chuck Call/Salt Lake City Engineer: "Over the last few weeks we've had the city and county crews cleaning any fallen debris in the channel."

That money also paid for more storm drains, retention basins, and major improvements to drainage systems..48 projects throughout the county.

And a separate, major construction project to slow Parley's Creek, Little Dell Resevoir, 70 million dollars.

It seemed like a lot of money at the time for improvements to culverts, a new reservoir, and catch basins like one in City Creek. But now, 22 years later and another flood year, many are saying it was well worth it."

Leroy Hooten: "Has made it much easier and much easier on me not worrying about how we are going to squeeze all that water out of a very small conduit."

No lower level snow, a major difference between now and '83, is helping in flooding mitigation.

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