‘It looks a lot better than it did,’ officials say of Panguitch Lake dam situation

Apr 11, 2024, 6:51 AM | Updated: 7:59 am

Water releases are being conducted at Panguitch Lake dam in order to prevent a big crack from from ...

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources issued an emergency fishing closure at Panguitch Lake reservoir Wednesday over growing concerns about the dam's safety. Utah engineers also have made progress to dam repairs. (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

PANGUITCH, Utah — Utah engineers say there are indications the damage found at the Panguitch Lake dam on Monday may not be as severe as initially feared, and releases of water are now being conducted to try and help.

West Panguitch Irrigation and Reservoir Company workers found cracks in the Garfield County dam during an inspection Monday night. The cracks were found about 2 to 5 feet from the top of the dam, but subsequent reviews indicate the rest of the 28-foot dam appears to be intact, said Michael Drake, deputy state engineer for the Utah Division of Water Rights.

While a partial breach is still possible, state officials say a total dam breach “is not likely or anticipated.”

“Throughout the day we’ve received encouraging news (that) we hope is indicating that the situation with the dam is improving,” Drake told KSL.com on Wednesday. “The crews and all of the people down there continue to work on that situation. … It’s something that we will continue to watch and monitor.”

A three-part plan is also in place to reduce remaining risks and handle the situation, said Everett Taylor, assistant state engineer for the Utah Division of Water Rights, who is over dam safety, during an emergency town hall meeting held Wednesday evening.

Read the full story at KSL.com.

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‘It looks a lot better than it did,’ officials say of Panguitch Lake dam situation