Following the flooding the past couple of years, Emery County applied to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for flood relief.
The federal government granted the request and $3,150,000 was allocated to the Cottonwood Creek Project. This was a 75%/25% grant with local entities required to contribute the difference between the total cost of $4.2 million and the $3.15 million granted by the government. These monies can be in-kind or cash contributions. Those local entities include Emery County, Cottonwood Creek Irrigation Company, Emery Water Conservancy District, Castle Valley Special Service District and the cities along the creek.
The Cottonwood Emergency Watershed Protection Project has several locations where construction work is being done in order to protect structures, roads and existing water treatment facilities. Beginning upstream, the first repair area is at the water treatment plant where debris is being removed from the stream. This will also help alleviate flood water washing across Highway 29. A culvert in this area had to be repaired by the participating agencies.
Downstream near XTO’s plant, a berm will be established to help save existing covered pipelines. At the Adobe Basin Reservoir, sediment is being cleaned out as well as building small side debris basins. Baker’s Shed and the county road adjacent is the next area where protective measures are also being established. The bridge area in Orangeville is another area of concern both upstream and downstream of the bridge. Cleaning the stream bed and consideration of changing the stream flow are some challenges at this point. Flood gate installation is being designed for the creek. Also, berms are necessary for structure protection near the Orangeville Bridge. A large berm is being built in southeastern Castle Dale by Perco Rock Company of Washington County. It will be located along the Cottonwood Creek where homes have been sand-bagged in previous years.
Tony Beals, Utah State NRCS Director for the EWP Program, also announced that funding has been federally approved and allocated to two projects in Carbon County; Wellington and Price River Water Improvement District. The damage survey reports were presented and allocated by Congress in December and are expected to begin in the near future.