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Bountiful widow aiding flood victims

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BOUNTIFUL — A 74-year-old widow has stepped forward with help for 16 families flooded out of their below-ground condominium units over the Labor Day weekend after a 6-inch water pipe burst in the street.

Lois Vandersteen has established a bank account to assist the flood victims after attending a meeting between residents of the Lakeview Condominiums, 314 W. Center, and Bountiful city in which the city offered each condo owner $2,500 to help defray damage in a "no-fault" situation, the same as it offers residents when sewer pipes back up into homes.

People are invited to donate at any Zions Bank to the Bountiful Center Street Flood Victims Fund, Vandersteen said. "I sat and listened to the people and after I slept on it overnight, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and I took $500 out of my savings account and opened the fund. I figured those people need help."

Bountiful city's position is that the pipe broke on its own and there was no way it could have been anticipated, City Manager Tom Hardy told the residents this past week.

"Somebody has to help them better than the city is," Vandersteen said. "I also figured that if people can't donate money, why not donate their time and elbow grease to help restore the living areas? They won't be in until who knows when. They had to take wallboard out halfway up the walls. Everyone lost all their carpet. Some of them had damage estimates of up to $40,000."