Utah continues navigating flooding, spring runoff

Apr 18, 2023, 10:59 AM

piles of sandbags pictured, utah flooding has utahns prepping...

Sandbags are set on the road during ongoing flood mitigation efforts at Emigration Creek in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 13, 2023. (Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Flooding across Utah has slowed down, but areas from Sugar House to Provo are still gearing up for more runoff.

The forecast

All but one of Salt Lake County’s river monitoring stations are in the “normal” stage, according to the Colorado Basin River Forecast’s website.

Every single station in Utah County is also at the “normal” level.

Meteorologists said Tuesday’s cold front will continue to slow the melting snowpack. But, as temperatures warm again later this week, the melt will speed up again.

This matches the river forecast, which shows a bump in flood levels across northern Utah next week.

The marathon

Possibly the biggest effect of continued high water flows is on the Salt Lake Marathon. The Saturday event runs through Sugar House Park, which acts as a detention basin for excess water.

Portions of the park turned into a pond last weekend. Now, city officials say it will be open to visitors through Friday and closed to cars starting Saturday morning. Officials expect some variation depending on how flooded it becomes.

Utah prepping for more flooding

Residents of Cottonwood Heights are on sandbag-filling duty. The city sits right at the intersection of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, which have both seen record snowpack this winter.

That puts the city in the crosshairs of two major runoff channels, and the public works building has responded by opening its yard to sandbag filling between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Provo has set the lofty goal of filling 100,000 sandbags by May 1, and volunteers so far have filled 45,000 bags. 

KSL NewsRadio has compiled a list of where to find sandbags in your area.

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Utah continues navigating flooding, spring runoff