Centerville in Davis County, Utah is a city of more than 15,000 inhabitants. East of the city are the majestic Wasatch Mountains. Centerville, with an elevation of more than 4,000 feet, is located on the slopes of the mountains, right below Centerville Canyon. Centerville is famous for its beautiful trails that start at the city’s outskirts and snake into the mountains.
Centerville, just like any community in the foothills, is at risk of natural disasters. While the city’s elevation is significantly higher than most cities in the state, it is still low enough that it could flood if the nearby Great Salt Lake reaches high levels. The city government has warned people against constructing homes or commercial spaces at levels that the lake could reach when inundated. While there is a flood pumping facility in the area that aims to mitigate flooding, a rapid rise in the lake’s level is still capable of overwhelming large swaths of the city.
Flooding is not the only threat to Centerville. It is also prone to landslides and debris flow as well as earthquakes. Parts of Centerville are in the flood hazard zone of Parrish Creek. It is also at the receiving end of any debris flow coming from Centerville Canyon, which has accumulated large amounts of sediment that may flow downward with heavy rainfalls or snowmelt. Centerville is located close to an active fault, the Wasatch Fault. Communities close to both an active fault and bodies of water, such as the Great Salt Lake, are prone to liquefaction in the event of an earthquake.
Some parts of Centerville are located in areas of collapsible soil. Previous debris flow from the canyon may have left vulnerable spaces due to rapid drying of deposits. These spaces may be subject to hydrocompaction, which occurs when moisture-deficient deposits compact as they become wet.
Even as they enjoy the beauty of their city, Centerville residents should be prepared in case disaster strikes. Residents should also have a plan to rebuild after a natural disaster. The Disaster Company has professionals across the state who are trained in all aspects of disaster clean up, including remediation for natural disasters in Centerville and beyond.