UTAH

Salt Lake County prepping early for a big spring runoff

Mar 8, 2023, 10:30 AM | Updated: 4:11 pm

sandbag hoarding...

Salt Lake City fire engineer Craig Beckstrom moves sandbags while responding to flooding outside of a home on Chancellor Way in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. (Kristen Murphy)

(Kristen Murphy)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County is hoping for a gradual warm-up over the next few months, but preparations for spring runoff have already begun. 

Officials say those preparations for spring runoff are taking place two months early. The concern is the unknown, and what may happen with snowfall over the next few months.  

Peak runoff season is mid-May to June. 

“If spring starts to heat up and starts to stay warm when we start to, you know, melt the snow off gradually and at a steady pace, we could probably be in okay shape,” said Kade Moncur, Salt Lake County Director for Flooding Control and Engineering.

If March and April stay cool and wet and the warm-up comes in May, that would be the worst-case scenario, according Moncur. This is especially true for anyone who has a creek running through their backyard.

“If a creek crosses the roads right, so you have the bridges and the culverts, that’s usually where we see problems in a high runoff scenario with potential debris getting caught or hung up on those structures.

“That’s where we can see issues most of the time so those would be the choke points that we would pay attention to,” said Moncur. 

Parley’s Canyon and Red Butte have reservoir systems, so there’s a way to control some of the flow downstream. But Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons don’t.

The county warned that even if there’s no flooding in the creeks, the run-off this spring will be high, fast, and very cold.

County residents can get up to 25 free sandbags from the SLCo Sandbag Shed at the Midvale Operations Public Works yard. That’s located at 604 W. 6960 S. in Midvale.

More information on protecting your home from flooding can be found at the County website

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Salt Lake County prepping early for a big spring runoff