Community members in southern Utah swung into gear to clean up in the aftermath of a burst retention basin Sept. 11.
Heavy rains in the area filled the 90-year-old earthen dam in Santa Clara, Utah, to capacity. Water spilled over the dam and eventually the pressure caused the dam to break. A flood ensued, damaging at least 30 homes and a dozen businesses.
Video of the flood showed a red river of muddy water sweeping through the town.
Fortunately the weather cleared for the cleanup effort.
Around 600 volunteers showed up to help after flood waters receded Tuesday night.
Santa Clara Mayor Rick Rosenberg said 31 homes were damaged by the flood, according to a KSL-TV report. Mayor Rosenberg said some homes have structural damage and face being condemned, while others escaped with relatively minor mud, water and debris damage.
All of the homes affected were in the Santa Clara Utah Stake. Although there was inevitably some sadness with the damage, the families who were affected faced the destruction with a positive attitude.
“People basically just bowed their backs and squared their jaws and moved on,” said Santa Clara Stake President Daniel K. Frei.
Volunteers ripped out carpet, removed drywall and pumped water out of basements during the cleanup effort.
“It’s just home by home, room by room. Everything’s just gotta come out,” said Richard G. Harris, president of the Santa Clara Utah Heights Stake. “It’s just a mess.”
He spent part of Wednesday delivering sack lunches to volunteers in the area. Local restaurants donated food and Relief Society sisters made lunches for the volunteers.
The Santa Clara City Council is working toward channeling water from future downpours.
“If we do get more rain, and do get more water flow, we’ll channel it safely so we don’t get additional damage,” Santa Clara Councilman Matt Ence said in a KSL news report.