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Flood cleanup continues in Santa Clara, Utah

SANTA CLARA, UTAH

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.

Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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.

Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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.

Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

"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.

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Flooding in Santa Clara, Washington County, where a detention basin breached Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011.
Flooding in Santa Clara, Washington County, where a detention basin breached Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Flooding in Santa Clara, Washington County, where a detention basin breached Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011.
Flooding in Santa Clara, Washington County, where a detention basin breached Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Flooding in Santa Clara, Washington County, where a detention basin breached Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011.
Flooding in Santa Clara, Washington County, where a detention basin breached Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011. Photo: Photo by Dean Cox
A group of young men stand on what was a brick wall in the back yard of a home in Santa Clara. Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses.
A group of young men stand on what was a brick wall in the back yard of a home in Santa Clara. Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
A dike break near Snow Canyon Middle School caused flooding in southern Utah Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011.
A dike break near Snow Canyon Middle School caused flooding in southern Utah Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Flooding in southern Utah where a dike broke Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011.
Flooding in southern Utah where a dike broke Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2011. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.
Residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
What was a block wall in the back yard is now inside a home after flood waters pushed it over. Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses.
What was a block wall in the back yard is now inside a home after flood waters pushed it over. Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses.
Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses.
Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses.
Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses.
Thousands of volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara work to clean up after flood waters broke the dike Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 and destroyed several homes and businesses. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara, Utah, after flood waters broke the dike and destroyed several homes and businesses on Sept. 11.
Volunteers swarm to help residents in Santa Clara, Utah, after flood waters broke the dike and destroyed several homes and businesses on Sept. 11. Photo: Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News