Cache Valley communities still dealing with aftermath of 2011 floods

The operator of this track hoe was working on clearing debris from the bank of the Logan River near the bridge on Park Avenue. The track hoe moved into the river to dredge the river bottom. As the operator moved back he began to slide into the deep hole, was unable to get any traction in the silt bed of the river and slid down into a hole. The water raised fast and from the photo the operator had to escape through the hatch in the top of the cab.

<strong>LOGAN -</strong> Logan City and surrounding towns are still dealing with weather events of almost two years ago in an ongoing flood mitigation project that, for Logan, involves the area of the confluence of the Logan and Blacksmith Fork Rivers.

“This is all a result of the events of Spring, 2011 when we had the high water for a long time that spring,” said Logan Public Works Director Mark Nielson. “That is when the Logan River Golf course river berm broke.

“As a result we’ve got debris, we have gravel bars and that kind of stuff in the river from Millville all the way down west of Tenth West.”

He said the project is working to remove debris and gravel bars and anything deposited because of that storm. Already, many large piles of limbs, dirt and gravel have been created on the banks. Several large trees have been trimmed back and some shore lines bolstered.

“This also includes on the Logan River up to Center Street and everything in the southwest part of the city,” said Nielson.

This river cleanup will take awhile, and it has been risky at times.

The city has been using large pieces of equipment to clear the river banks and dredge the river beds. At times, large track hoes need to go into the river to properly clear out debris on the river bottom. One of these track hoes got slipped on a section of soft river bed and slid further into the Logan River near the bridge on Park Avenue.

The operator of the track hoe had to exit through the hatch in the ceiling. Crews had to shut down Park Avenue for several hours as they worked to pull the track hoe out of the cold river.

Despite the risky nature of some areas, the work continues.

“We expect it will probably be off and on, depending on river flows, throughout this year, clear until December. When waters come up in the spring, we will wait, then get back at it in the summer when farmers are taking their irrigation and the water is down.

“Our goal is to clear out that channel so that the river flows, in high water stages, can be passed without all of the downed trees and limbs and everything else that’s built up in the river.”

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