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Lemmon Valley residents share concerns as short-term barrier is built

A short term relief effort is underway for Lemmon Valley residents.

More than 150 Lemmon Valley residents voiced their concerns at a third community meeting, this time about the temporary barrier being built throughout Lemmon Valley.

Emergency officials say this Hesco wall is a short term fix until a final solution can be determined. It stands about four feet tall and stretches five miles long. This is the second day of installing the barrier, and already crews have installed 3,700 of its 22,000 feet.

Residents lined up in the gymnasium at O'Brien Middle School to talk about the relief efforts.

"I feel much better. I feel like we got more answers at this one," said Jeff Johnson of Lemmon Valley.

Mike Fuller said, "I feel more optimistic now, except for long term planning. Yes, I'm harping on long-term planning."

Officials told residents at the meeting that since Feb. 28, Swan Lake has risen 3.6 inches. Despite the lack of precipitation since then, the snow melt has run off from Peavine Mountain at a slow rate.

Some residents said they are worried about the rising water.

Johnson said, "Since I'm on the lake side of the barrier, I don't feel very comfortable. If the water rises that's going to act like a dam and back up on my property."

Incident Commander Sam Hicks says crews could start pumping water over the barrier as soon as Thursday afternoon. Four pump stations will be located along Lemmon Drive at Arkansas, Idaho, Albert and Alice.

The barrier will cost $1.8 million and is scheduled to be completed within a week.

For more resources and ways to get help, click here.

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