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Some Never Got Dam Release Warnings

Some Never Got Dam Release Warnings



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John Daley ReportingA spokesman for Utah Power says the company followed all proper procedures for notifying people downstream from a Northern Utah dam that they were releasing more water last weekend. But John Daley found some property owners who say they never got that warning and were flooded.

Those who live close to the dam apparently did get the warning, but some property owners downstream did not. Box Elder County officials say they tried, but acknowledge they were unable to contact everyone who would be affected.

A Utah Power spokesman says due to heavy rains the utility needed to release water from Cutler Dam or run the risk of an overflow. Friday morning Utah Power notified both the National Weather Service, which put out a flood warning, and officials in Box Elder County. County officials alerted those living near the dam, but those west of Brigham City near the Great Salt Lake never got the word. Some, like Todd Yates,lost cattle and equipment to the flood waters.

Todd Yates, Landowner, Sunday: "Who authorized the release of all this water and notified none of us downstream for this?"

Dave Eskelsen, Spokesman, Utah Power: "The national weather service flood warning was in place by 6 am Friday morning. We talked to the county sheriff on Friday and Saturday. I don't know what their schedule was as far as alerting those below cutler."

Chief Deputy Lynn Yeates, Box Elder County Sheriff's Dept., Sunday: "Probably because I don't know all the people who own property all the way down to the Great Salt Lake. I don't have access to a list of every one of them. We wanted to make sure all the homes, because we're dealing with major flooding issues up in the north end and we're taken care of them first."

Officials with the National Weather Service says it put the warning Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. and issued another Saturday at 10:45 saying even more water was to be released. Now property owners like Todd Yates are urging the county and Utah Power to help fix the damage.

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