Salt Lake County mayor feeling positive as watch for Memorial Day flooding begins

May 25, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: May 26, 2023, 8:50 am

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson has issued a state of emergency after spring runoff that lead t...

Parleys Creek, swollen by spring snowmelt, surges through Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, Salt Lake County extended its state of emergency through June 13. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — As Utahns make their way to camping and vacation spots outdoors for Memorial Day, Utah officials are on watch for flooding as they have been for over a month. The concern has been the state’s record-setting snowpack and how quickly it melts.

“We feel pretty good about this weekend,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson told KSL NewsRadio. She cited multiple efforts by the National Weather Service along with county flood control and public works teams, who are not only keeping an eye on river flow levels but are actively working to reign in the water.

And Utah residents are doing their part by helping with sandbagging efforts. They were out in force on April 12 when Emigration Creek overflowed. AT that time, 35 houses were evacuated around 1700 South and 1500 East in Salt Lake City. 

“Really, since then, we’ve had more and more people stepping up as neighbors and communities to fill sandbags, replace them,” Mayor Wilson said.

Mayor’s biggest Memorial Day flooding concern is for the big creeks

Salt Lake County is expected to remain in the 80s throughout the Memorial Day weekend. The mayor’s biggest concern involves large creeks.

“It’s Big and Little Cottonwood, certainly,” she said. “Big Cottonwood Canyon sits right next to or in Cottonwood Heights. And then of course Little Cottonwood Canyon up the road, next to Sandy.” And since those larger creeks meander through other neighborhoods on their way to the Jordan River, Wilson said they’re watching the central and west sides of the county as well.

It means that, while it may be a holiday for some, county crews will remain on call.

“They are out surveying and they are available to address any issues that pop up,” Mayor Wilson said.

Residents can help in ways other than sandbagging. They’re asked to call Salt Lake County or visit their website if they see flooding.

Related: KSL Riverflow tracker

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