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Remembering the Rexburg flash flood

Recent weather in the Rexburg area has been nice but just over a year ago it was another story entirely. One year ago flash flooding covered the town leaving hundred of homes, apartments, and even campus buildings filled with water.

Since that day both city leaders and people who live in Rexburg have taken steps to prevent something like that from happening again.

“I realized this wasn’t a normal rainstorm,” says Aaron Tharp, the assistant manager of Aspen Village apartments in Rexburg. “Something like I have never seen. It was just kind of a normal day… Everything seemed normal and it started to rain. Not anything special. Until the rain got worse and worse.”

Aspen village was just one of dozens of apartment complexes that flooded during last year’s flash floods.

“The water had actually collected on the property behind us. And broken through their parking lot. And it had become this wave of water,” says Tharp.

Several of the apartments were filled with several feet of water. There was so much water it actually started making the washers and dryers in the laurdry room float. Similar events played out over and over again all over the city.

“The event was over in 20, 30 minutes, so there’s really nothing that could have been done during the storm event, but afterwards there was water everywhere” says John Millar, the Rexburg Public Works Director.

Millar says while the experience strained city resources it did allow them to better prepare for the future. “After the flood, we analyzed where the major damage happened, and what could be done in those areas to mitigate future damage.”

The city is currently working on several construction projects that are meant to protect homeowners in the future.

Last year’s storm that caused the flash flood was considered a once in a hundred year storm… But the city says they still don’t want to take chances as mother nature is always full of surprises.

City leaders emphasized that the best flood mitigation happens at home. They say simple things such as grading your yard so the water runs away from your home can make a huge difference.

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