"We had the Severe River main channel running down first east in Circleville,” said Darin Bushman Piute County Commissioner.
Bushman says in years past the river has always overflowed east, away from homes, but as of January first, it took a turn for the worst heading east towards homes.
“We spent the better part of yesterday building a levy to keep the water out of town and we finally got that shut off and we're doing pretty well with that and then this morning the rivers collapsed and caved in and the water is no longer coming out there and so were just waiting to see where its going to come out next,” said Bushman.
The commissioner goes on to say this type of flooding isn't a first, it happened in 1983 when the U.S. National Guard assisted, but the problem is the river flows relatively slow and when it freezes the water comes off “at will" and predicting where it's going to come out next is nearly impossible. “Right now we probably have 200 to 300 acres under ice because the river has just been flowing out and covering all of the farmland,” says Bushman.
He tells ABC 4 Utah, so far they have been lucky enough to have no injuries but two homes have been evacuated and a dozen more are threatened and the overall long term damage is extensive. "We've lost a lot of farmland of course all the alfalfa is dead now because of being buried under that much ice so that will hit the farmers pretty hard in the spring,” said Bushman.
Piute County has contacted the governors office and they have offered their assistance if it's needed, but so far Piute County has not taken them up on that offer, but they are working to come up with a solution.