Flood waters damage, close Palmer gym
The streets of Palmer quickly filled with water after a heavy rainstorm Monday night. Water made it’s way into Active Body Downtown Gym as the downpour continued.
Theresa Pipek, a class instructor at the gym, said water came up through the drains, going through the ceiling and even dropping from some of the light fixtures. She said several inches of standing water soaked into the walls.
A cleanup crew removed the baseboards and put in fans to dry out the gym.
“Obviously with standing water it doesn’t smell the greatest and it’s really humid in here right now from all the water. So it’s good just to have the gym closed so we can clean up,” Pipek said.
Monday’s storm dropped a third of an inch of rain in just a half hour. Several roads around town closed due to high water and one car got caught in the floodwaters — sucked into a hole on the shoulder.
Palmer City Manager Nathan Wallace said the high volume of rain in a short time span is likely what caused the flash flooding.
There are also construction covers over many of the storm drains near downtown that slowed drainage. The covers are designed to let water through, but prevent larger debris from washing into the storm system. They’re mandated through the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan for the state’s construction project on the Glenn Highway.
Wallace said the covers may have played a small role in the flooding since water wasn’t draining as fast as it typically does. But, he also said that kind of storm isn’t something the city sees very often.
“There was so much force coming from uphill, it was hitting the water that was already full and then backing it up. There was a geyser coming out of the storm system about a block from here, so whether these were covered or not, the system was full,” he said.
Most of the standing water around town receded within an hour or two after the rain stopped. Active Body staff said they’re not sure how long the gym will stay closed, but it’s likely to be a few more days.
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