Spring Flooding Risks High After Snow-Filled Winter

Mar 18, 2019, 10:07 PM | Updated: 10:47 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Spring is definitely in the air. More and more people are heading outside to soak in every bit of sunshine after a winter packed with snowfall.

As temperatures warm up, snow is melting into Utah’s rivers and streams, increasing the risk of flooding and fast-moving rivers.

Northern Utah currently has between 110-140% of typical snow pack and parts of Southern Utah have 175% of the average, according to the National Weather Service.

All that snow will be melting starting in a few weeks and will be flowing into rivers.

“Hopefully, it comes off in an orderly fashion,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Seaman.

If it warms up too quickly, snow is going to overwhelm Utah’s rivers.

Spring typically brings the potential for swift, fast runoff.

There’s high risk already that anyone that falls in could be carried downstream and potentially under the current.

“With the high, fast flows of the water… it doesn’t take much for a child to fall in,” Seaman warned.

As people start heading outside the National Weather Service and Unified Fire Authority are urging them to watch kids, pets and loved ones around the water.

UFA hopes people heed the warning, but they’re still ready to respond to rescue someone.

“If somebody does jump in the river or is swept away by the river, we urge that somebody does not jump in after them and try to rescue them because often times that person becomes another victim,” says Unified Fire Authority Public Information Officer Ryan Love.

If someone does fall into the river, they should float on their back, lifting their feet up to avoid getting caught by a tree branch or other debris in the water.

River water comes from melting snow, so its right around freezing which can also be deadly.

“It’s almost shocking or paralyzing,” Love says.

Even if rivers don’t look deep, they can still be dangerous. It only takes six inches of water to knock someone off their feet.

Typically spring run-off is between April to May, but its likely runoff will continue into June this year because of the amount of snow in the mountains.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Man tees off hitting into the sun...

Larry D. Curtis

How to watch Ryder Cup and NASCAR this weekend

It's an autumn weekend packed with sporting events on NBC, including college football, the NFL, the Ryder Cup in Rome and YellaWood 500 in Alabama.

2 hours ago

(Brianna Chavez, KSL TV)...

Josh Ellis

Downed power lines blocking 2600 South near US 89 in Davis County after crash

Crews have closed 2600 South near U.S. Highway 89 following a three-car crash that downed some power lines in the area.

2 hours ago

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks during the Sa...

Josh Ellis

President Russell M. Nelson not attending general conference due to fall, injured back

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not be able to physically attend this weekend's general conference after he fell and injured his lower back.

3 hours ago

(Utah Highway Patrol)...

Josh Ellis

One dead, several injured in head-on crash in Kane County

One person was killed while six others were injured -- including two critically -- after a pickup truck and SUV crashed in southern Utah on Tuesday.

4 hours ago

woman stands at podium at Utah State Capitol...

Lindsay Aerts and Larry D. Curtis

‘These allegations are true,’ say former OUR employees about Tim Ballard

An attorney representing a group wanting to make a public statement about Operation Underground Railroad read a statement Thursday morning.

5 hours ago

Weber High School file photo...

Josh Ellis

Weber High principal retires as Weber School District finishes investigation into complaints

Weber High School Principal Chris Earnest has announced her retirement as the Weber School District concluded an investigation into complaints involving Earnest.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Spring Flooding Risks High After Snow-Filled Winter