Water levels on the rise in southern Utah, some reservoirs overflowing

Mar 15, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: 8:12 pm
Water levels at some reservoirs in Washington County have spilled over onto roads. Photo credit: Wa...
Water levels at some reservoirs in Washington County have spilled over onto roads. Photo credit: Washington County Sheriff's Office.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — Recent storms have caused water levels to rise in southern Utah, which potentially could lead to flooding. 

Jason Whipple, director of the Washington County Emergency Services, told KSL NewsRadio that rivers in that part of the state are running high. He says that several reservoirs are overflowing.

He says water at Baker Reservoir, which is up SR-18 toward Central and Brookside, and Gunlock Reservoir are already going over the spillway. 

Whipple also says that Ash Creek, near New Harmony, is close to overflowing, if it hasn’t already. Enterprise Reservoir is also expected to go over the spillway, according to Whipple. 

The weather service is predicting that the Virgin River will flood in spots in the Bloomington area, according to Whipple.

As such, a lot of the backroads in the area as well as a couple of main highways have been closed due to water.

Water on the rise near Gunlock Reservoir

According to a posting on Facebook by the WCES, Gunlock Road is closed at Old Highway 91 to Gunlock Reservoir. It says the water has crossed the road there. 

“We do have a lot of preparations in place for some areas that are in low-lying areas near some of these rivers,” Whipple said. 

In preparation, Whipple says there are sandbags staged at various locations, mostly at fire stations, throughout the county. He says that fire stations are prefilling sandbags for some of those areas. 

Thus far, Whipple says there has been no damage or injuries reported.

Whipple urges people to stay away from areas of flooding. He says there are lots of people climbing the rocks at Gunlock. However, Whipple says it’s extremely dangerous and makes it harder for emergency personnel to respond. 

Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News can be heard on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

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Water levels on the rise in southern Utah, some reservoirs overflowing