UTAH

Panguitch City evacuation notice lifted as dam damage control continues

Apr 12, 2024, 2:33 PM

Panguitch Lake...

Panguitch Lake. (Michael Hadley/Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

(Michael Hadley/Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — As mitigation efforts continue on the Panguitch Lake dam, authorities have lifted the evacuation notice for Panguitch City and the surrounding area. A crack in the dam prompted an evacuation notice on Wednesday.

An update was made at noon on Friday about the Panguitch Lake dam. The Department of Public Safety website stated that ice has been removed from the upstream face of the dam. The update said that if ice forms from winds in the area, the ice will be broken and removed from the dam.

Other efforts stated in the update include an extending rock rip-rap placed across the affected area of the dam.

Water levels were also reported to have dropped by 8 inches since efforts to control the damage started. These efforts are reported to be continuing in order to lower the level of water until it is below the damaged area of the dam. After the water is lowered to that spot, there will be a full assessment of the dam.

Staying safe in the area around the Panguitch Lake Dam 

Authorities asked that community members keep up to date on changes regarding the dam in case there are any changes as mitigation efforts continue. Authorities also recommended that residents in the affected area continue to “remain in a heightened condition of readiness.”

“I am confident with the results of our mitigation efforts to effectively reduce the pressure on the Panguitch Lake dam and the potential for an uncontrolled release,” Garfield County Sheriff Eric Houston said in a statement.

“That work allows us to lift the evacuation notice, but I do urge people to stay prepared for this and other types of hazards. I want to thank the community for their positive response, support, and patience as we have worked through this situation. I especially appreciate the communication, collaboration, and efforts provided by all of our response partners as well,” Houston said.

People can keep up to date by watching local media, social media and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office website. 

Areas that reopened and areas that are closed

  • The SR-143 has been reopened to traffic going through that area. There are certain spots being monitored on that roadway.
  • The North Shore Road is closed. Property owners between the boat ramp and SR-143 are allowed to go through this area.
  • Areas surrounding the lake dam are closed.
  • Marilyn Bulkley Park is closed.
  • Ice fishing is not allowed on the lake at this time.
  • Increased water levels in Panguitch Creek have caused concern due to the risk of high and fast-flowing water conditions. Authorities are asking that the public use caution near the creek.

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Panguitch City evacuation notice lifted as dam damage control continues