A bright, sunny afternoon took a turn for the chaotic over the weekend, as a brief but powerful storm ripped through Powell, leaving in its wake flooded basements, uprooted trees and plenty of …
A bright, sunny afternoon took a turn for the chaotic over the weekend, as a brief but powerful storm ripped through Powell, leaving in its wake flooded basements, uprooted trees and plenty of instances of wind and hail damage. More than a foot of water and mud streamed into the local animal shelter.
Though it lasted just 33 minutes, the storm dumped nearly two-thirds of an inch of rain, according to a local weather station, and brought wind gusts of 47 mph and sustained winds of 36 mph. At the Maverik station on the east end of town, motorists entering and leaving the city sought refuge under the gas pump awnings.
The flooding at the shelter was indicative of the flooding reported all over town, as residents were forced to deal with anywhere from 3 to 7 feet of water pooling in window wells and leaking into basements. Local cleaning crews were deluged with calls and worked diligently through the night to help residents severly affected by the storm.
In the days that followed, residents throughout the city and the surrounding area were out working together to clean up the debris and bring their neighborhoods back to normal.
News of the need for assistance was quickly shared by phone and social media, and businesses and volunteers answered the call, donating time, money and in some cases food for those who put their normal Monday routine on hold to help out their friends and neighbors.
Many of those volunteers showed up at the animal shelter on Monday and Tuesday to continue clean-up duties; a quick drive by the facility on both days showed a parking lot full of vehicles of those who came by to help. Young athletes participating in a summer fitness program at Freedom Fitness chose to forgo their workouts on Tuesday to work at the shelter, clearing drains and removing mud.
Selfless examples of neighbors helping neighbors such as that seen at the animal shelter occurred all over town, as Powell once again proved itself as a community whose residents care about one another.
Our society has become such that more and more people tend to keep to themselves; we are much less likely to know our neighbors well, even those who live right next door. Many of us spend far more time in the virtual world of our phones and computers than among the people in our own communities.
But people do need each other, especially in difficult times, and it’s refreshing to see that there’s still a sense of community out there.
Of course, help is still needed. On Wednesday, some residents were still shoveling mud out of basements, drying out walls and sifting through water-soaked belongings. Many are facing big bills to restore their homes — and without the help of insurance. We hope that local officials and organizations will work together to provide aid for what appears to have been truly a once-in-a-lifetime disaster.
Still, we saw the best side of Powell during one of our worst storms, and, thankfully for us, that’s a side we’ve come to expect. We’re a community that stands together when it matters, and for that we can be grateful.