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OPINION: Mayor Johnson offers flood prep. resources, CERT meeting Wednesday

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I doubt anyone anticipated the incredible amount of water we have received this winter, particularly following two of the driest years on record. But now, here we are considering our strategies for dealing with an excess of what we had so little of the last two years. The recent drought, however, has unexpectedly provided us with some opportunities to prepare for this year's anticipated water runoff. Lehi City, along with the rest of Utah, is taking critical steps to help manage high water flows.

Along the Wasatch Front, reservoirs are being prepared to receive more water this year. Lehi City has a new storage facility on the Dry Creek water system. The facility has increased capacity and a better system to help regulate discharge. However, everyone must take responsibility to prepare themselves, and our city has provided some excellent information sources to help with that effort.

There is plenty to do when preparing for potential flooding, and educating yourself is the first step in mitigating risk. Knowing your risk and taking preventive actions to protect your home from potential water damage is critically important. Please consider potential problems in your neighborhood, especially where someone may have moved there recently and may not be familiar with how their home could be impacted by possible flooding. Please talk to and help them if appropriate.

A few things to consider from the USU Emergency Preparedness Team are:

• Know the elevation of your property in relation to streams and other waterways.

• Clear debris or snow from your gutters, ditches, swales, and downspouts to help prevent water from backing up and seeping into your home.

• Keep water out of window wells by checking if the ground is sloped away from the house.

• If there is potential for water to enter your home, prepare now for a way to remove water with a sump pump or other drainage system.

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• Contact your local insurance agent to review your policy and discuss flood insurance. There is often a 30-day delay in coverage, so do not wait.

• Be aware of weather conditions and flood warnings in your area.
• Sign-up for emergency alerts like Everbridge Alert System (alerts.utahcounty.gov )

Our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is hosting a Flood Hazard Mitigation meeting Wednesday, April 12th, from 6-8 p.m. at our public safety building (Broadbent Room). I encourage you to attend if you have any questions about what to do.

Please visit the Lehi City and CERT websites for detailed information regarding the city's efforts, sandbags, flood insurance, volunteering, water safety, flood maps and other valuable resources. There you will find a video on the correct way to fill and stack sandbags.

These websites are:

www.lehi-ut.gov/departments/public-works/flood-information/

www.lehicert.org

Let us all hope for warm days but cold nights this spring, which will help regulate the snow melt. We must prepare ourselves and be willing to help our neighbors where needed. These efforts will keep us stronger as a community.

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Mark Johnson

Lehi City Mayor