ENVIRONMENT

Flood watches and advisories in effect across Utah; US 89 closed at US 6/Thistle Junction

May 1, 2023, 10:56 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 10:47 am

Utah flood watches...

A pedestrian is forced to walk in the street to bypass the flooded sidewalks at the intersection of 200 East and 800 South to flood on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Deseret News)

(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A flood warning has been issued for Emigration Creek in Salt Lake City as U.S. Highway 89 was closed at the U.S. 6 junction in Spanish Fork Canyon due to flooding along Thistle Creek Monday morning.

Road closures

The Utah Highway Patrol said U.S. 89 is closed between the U.S. 6/Thistle Junction and Mount Pleasant due to flooding. Northbound U.S. 89 drivers can use state Route 132 as a detour to and from Interstate 15 4 miles north of Ephraim. No estimated time of reopening was given, and a flood advisory for the area runs through Tuesday morning.

The Utah Department of Transportation was also watching S.R. 139 in Ogden Canyon, which had some flooding reported due to runoff coming down the mountain and clogging a drain.

Later Monday, UDOT will close Big and Little Cottonwood canyons to all traffic due to avalanche hazards. Little Cottonwood was open to downhill traffic Monday morning, but it was closed at 8 a.m. with no estimated time for reopening.

Big Cottonwood will be closed from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Flood watches and warnings

Residents in Emigration Canyon sprang into action Sunday evening as Emigration Creek jumped its bed in several areas, threatening to flood homes.

“We’ve seen it just go up and up and up and up,” said Tim Erickson, a resident of Emigration Canyon.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the area through Thursday. “Emigration Creek will continue to see increases in flow each evening to near to above flood flow through at least Wednesday night,” NWS officials said.

East Canyon Creek in Summit County is under a flood watch until further notice. Officials said it could flood the Jeremy Ranch golf course but it was not expected to impact homes.

A flood warning is in effect for the Little Bear River at Paradise in Cache County through Friday morning. “Minor flooding will affect farmland and low-lying areas adjacent to the Little Bear River near the town of Paradise,” NWS officials said. Water levels are expected to rise again Monday afternoon.

The mayor of Garden City issued a state of emergency over the weekend to prepare residents for flooding. Mayor Mike Leonhardt told KSL that city officials saw active flooding across the city.

“We have about seven different locations, from south to north, in our town that we have active flooding waters coming down the mountain,” Leonhardt said.

Record heat moves in

Salt Lake City could see its earliest 90-degree day on record Monday, according to KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson. Utah’s capital hit 91 degrees on May 2, 1947.

The NWS warned that “streams, creeks, and rivers will continue to experience significant rises moving forward throughout the upcoming week, especially low- and mid-elevation watersheds across the forecast area. Waterways will be running high, fast, cold, and extremely dangerous increasing the risk of hypothermia and drowning with even brief periods of time in the water. Keep a safe distance from these waterways as banks may become unstable, and especially monitor children and pets closely as they can quickly drown in these elevated flows.”

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Flood watches and advisories in effect across Utah; US 89 closed at US 6/Thistle Junction