PICTURED ABOVE: A night of rain on top of melting snow caused flooding that reached the doors of Snowville Elementary. Warm weather threatens to bring more water worries. Photo courtesy of Melissa Morris
SNOWVILLE - By Ellen Cook, Headliner Media Specialist, March 15, 2023
An above average snowpack and rain falling throughout the night resulted in a canal breach that threatened Snowville Elementary and is still causing major flooding in parts of Snowville.
Snowville Fire Chief Jed Pugsley said the main drainage canal, called Deep Creek, was nearly at capacity when rain began to fall on Tuesday night, March 14, about 11 p.m. That rain continued until nearly 5 a.m. on Wednesday, overwhelming the canal by North Stone Road and filling the designated detention area called Potter’s Hollow. North Stone Road was closed most of the night and is presently down to one lane as workers from the Box Elder County Road Department assess the damage done by the flood waters. (UPDATE: Stone Road is now closed due to increased water flow).
Story continues below...
PICTURED ABOVE: Flood waters closed North Stone Road outside of Snowville as the town detention basin, Potter Hollow, filled to capacity. Photo courtesy Jed Pugsley
Crews were joined by volunteers to help divert the flow, especially as it lapped at the walls of the elementary school. School Principal Melissa Morris said there was a united effort to keep the school safe.
“The fire chief, community members and school staff worked hard into the night to prevent water from entering the building,” she said. “Snowville students were on a virtual day today and some helped fill sandbags to protect our school.”
Story continues below...
PICTURED ABOVE: With the school threatened with water, it was a virtual school day, but some students took the time to help fill sandbags to sure up around the school. Photos courtesy of Melissa Morris
Pugsley said the town already had a stockpile of sandbags on hand, but they were quickly used up as water was diverted away from the school and nearby homes. Area ranchers brought in additional equipment to help keep culverts open as the storm brought more water. Sump pumps were put into place and will continue to be used until the treat of flooding has subsided.
“Our main ditch drainage system is full now,” Pugsley said as temperatures reached 40 degrees under sunny skies by Wednesday afternoon, resulting in more runoff from melting snow. “If we get additional rain in the next 72 hours, we will see flooding again.” More moisture is predicted for the area next week.
Morris added the one positive she saw during the night-long flood prevention efforts.
“It does my heart good to see the community come together to help each other,” she said.