Santa Clara faces $3.7 million in infrastructure damage, FEMA little help to homeowners

A home on Vineyard Drive that had its entire basement flooded, Santa Clara, Sept. 12, 2012 | Mori Kessler, St. George News

SANTA CLARA – As city and federal officials in Santa Clara continue to assess the flood damage and affected residents continue to clear out their homes, the estimate on damage to public infrastructure has reached $3.7 million. That estimate only applies to those things maintained by the City – like roads and the broken dike – and not the homes and businesses caught in the path of Tuesday’s flooding.

“We don’t know the cost to the homes,” said Ed Dickie, Santa Clara city manager. “We just know 61, maybe 62, have had damage,” along with 16 businesses.

Dickie said he had been told a majority of the affected businesses and homeowners did not have flood insurance. “It wasn’t required,” he said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires that homes with mortgages located in flood plains designated as “high risk” have flood insurance. However, homes located in low to moderate risks flood plains are not required to purchase policies. FEMA oversees the flood insurance via the National Flood Insurance Program.

There is the likelihood that Santa Clara homeowners may not be able to receive federal assistance. Dickie said, as a general rule FEMA requires a threshold of over 40 percent damage to at least 100 homes before it will step in and help private property owners.

“We have homes anywhere from 2 percent to 30 percent damaged,” he said.

Despite the setback with FEMA, the city will continue to meet with state and federal officials on behalf of the homeowners. “We’re pleading (with them),” Dickie said.

For the time being, a relief fund has been set up at State Bank of Southern Utah to aid flood victims.

Santa Clara will be receiving $70,000 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to help create a series of channels and fill-ponds leading from the vicinity of the failed dike to the Santa Clara River.

“We’re creating a channel to follow the roads,” Dickie said.

The path of the channels will include portions of Arrowhead Trail and Vineyard Drive, two of the areas hit by the flooding. The channel system will be used to divert rain water while the dike is rebuilt.

Volunteer work also continues. Officials with the Red Cross station set up in the Santa Clara city offices said at least 1,800 people volunteered on Wednesday alone. Thursday saw 1,000 volunteers. That number is expected to triple between Friday night and Saturday.

“We’re expecting between 2,000 and 3,000 people,” Dickie said. A “big push” was coming from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both Dickie and the Red Cross said a multi-congregational force of volunteers from the LDS Church was heading into Santa Clara on Saturday.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com
Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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10 Comments

  • Murat September 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    The LDS Church is of course expected to offer token assistance in situations such as this. No surprise there. The damage to the homes and businesses is at least $5 million, and Santa Clara is on the hook for all of it thanks to the blatant incompetence of its leaders.

  • Big @$$ Bob September 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    This, folks, is why you THOROUGHLY inspect a 93 year old dike unlike suburban Santa Clara’s finest chose to do.

  • I am smarter than bob September 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Big bob….. You are a dyke! go crawl in a hole! Serious – you are going to blame the city. You obviously didn’t loose anything in the flood. Your moral compas was lost long before the dike broke. Retard!

  • Knine September 15, 2012 at 5:37 am

    I am so fortunate to be part of a community with such a helping spirit. There are other old water control structures in the county that should have some preventive measures addressed. Rockville could very well have had a similar situation not long ago. My heart goes out to all those impacted by the Santa Clara flood.

  • Big @$$ Bob September 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Call me what you will, apparently you can’t handle the TRUTH. Oh boy, hope your bishop doesn’t see you name calling like this. Mighty brave of you considering how small Santa Clara is, then again you are anonymous…hell, you could be a bishop, even the mayor Lol!

  • Old BassTurd September 15, 2012 at 10:18 am

    The neighborhood that was flooded out was wealthy and full of mansions anyway, they’ll bounce right back and may even end up relocating to another low-lying flood plain. Atleast no one was hurt or killed. This could have happened for a reason…to humble the nose-in-the-air rich and unfamous locals.

    • Family Member September 16, 2012 at 7:01 am

      Dear Old Bass Turd, my family was one of those so called mansions. And that is where I grew up and they are some of the most humble and generous people I know, love and respect. I find it very sad that during such a crisis you would choose to speak in such a way. I sure hope that nothing of this magnitude should ever happen to you for your sake. In the meantime, could you please be little more respectful? 🙁

  • One of the rich ones=) September 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Yes, B* I am sure you are correct. You too are a D bag. If I believed in God I am sure I would think you were him. Are you related to Boob, I mean Bob?

  • Phyliis September 16, 2012 at 12:08 am

    What an absolute wonderful community the Greater St George is to always pull together in dire times of need. Best of luck to all involved.

  • Funky Munky September 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Yo, for real, what’s with the floods? Is this like the 3rd disastrous flood since ’05 in the STG?? Maybe Nostradamis was right (twilight zone music playing in my head)

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