City of Provo prepares for high flows at the Provo River

Jun 6, 2024, 6:00 AM | Updated: 6:52 am

Provo police are urging people to stay at least 40 feet away from the Provo River, after three peop...

Provo police are urging people to stay at least 40 feet away from the Provo River, after three people fell into fast-moving water this week alone. (Wasatch County Search and Rescue)

(Wasatch County Search and Rescue)

PROVO, Utah — The city of Provo is preparing for the impacts of spring runoff, in case high flows at the Provo River cause any flooding.

The hot weather is prompting water releases at the Jordanelle and Deer Creek reservoirs, bringing the Provo River to its highest levels of the season. 

“They’ve indicated that they would be increasing the flow rates out of the reservoirs and into the Provo River,” said Provo’s Flood Plain Manager, Jacob O’Bryant. “Right now we are at 1,500 cubic feet per second it may be as high as 1,800 cubic feet per second.”

The National Weather Service indicates flooding usually occurs around 2,100 cubic feet per second. However, O’Bryant says if it happens, they are ready for it.

“Our crews have done a lot of work to clear debris and obstructions from the river to remove any potential for clogging,” O’Bryant said. 

He went on to say crews are constantly monitoring the river, checking on any potential problem areas, just in case. They also have sandbags that are ready to fill. O’Bryant says they expect this year to be similar to 2019, when they had high flows, but no flooding. 

“We just have to be ready to mobilize quickly if we do start to see any problems or, you know, you get a thunderstorm on top of high flows and that adds to the river flow rate as well,” O’Bryant said.

City officials are recommending people stay away from the river right now. Some of the trails nearby are closed. They are asking that people observe the signs and do not walk near the river. They also say to monitor children closely, and keeps pets on leashes if you happen to be nearby.

Related: Great Salt Lake levels have peaked for the year, expected to drop this summer

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City of Provo prepares for high flows at the Provo River