LOCAL NEWS

Snow Pack, Warm Temps Pose Potential Flooding Problems

Jun 14, 2019, 7:39 PM | Updated: 9:32 pm

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – The combination of a near-record snow pack over the winter, and stormy, warm weather this spring could lead to severe flooding in Utah. The right weather conditions, however, could also keep creeks from becoming unmanageable.

Flood watches and warning have been issued for parts of Utah as additional storms and warmer weather move through the state.

In Salt Lake County, Big and Little Cottonwood Creeks have been running fast, roaring down the canyons at their highest levels in years.

Uneasiness Over Big & Little Cottonwood Creeks

The city of Sandy has been put on alert, as water in Little Cottonwood Creek continues to rise. City officials posted a message on social media Friday, saying crews were out monitoring the waterways.

Sandbags have also been made available for residents who may already be experiencing high waters.

Big Cottonwood Creek has caused concern in Cottonwood Heights. Safety officials sent out a warning Friday to stay away from rushing water.

They reminded everyone that the creek has been running fast and cold.

Sandbags have been made available at the Cottonwood Heights public heights.

Emery County Flooding

Waters have been flowing over roads and crossings in Emery County near the Millsite Reservoir.

The Emery County Sheriff’s Office has warned members of the public recreating in the area to use extreme caution near waterways and riverbanks.

They said the waters were high, fast, extremely cold – and some creeks can contain debris from last summer’s wildland fires.

Eastern Utah

In Eastern Utah, the Duchesne River was expected to remain above flood stage early into next week.

A flood warning was issued near Myton. The county has placed miles of sand bags

Hoping For The Right Weather Conditions

Hydrologist Brian McInerney with the NWS in Salt Lake City said the right weather at just the right time should continue to keep rivers from flooding – just as it did a week ago.

“We expect this to go up a little more,” he said. “What we’ve got is cloud cover, and we’ve got cold temperatures for the next four days.“

The Cottonwood Creeks were very close to flooding just last week. If not for that cool down and cloud cover, McInerney said Little Cottonwood Creek would have flooded in neighborhoods in Murray and elsewhere in the central valley.

“If we would have kept those same temperature levels and clear skies, we would have exceeded flood stage last weekend,” he said.

However, there were still a few very few problems.

“Our rivers, even though they’re really high right now, this is across the state, we really haven’t seen any type of major flooding, even moderate flooding,“ he said.

There’s still about 18 inches of snow water equivalent in the highest elevations along the Wasatch Front. What remains to be seen is whether that’s enough snow to fuel high flows In the rivers and creeks down below.

“Now the question is, before it gets really hot, are we going to run out of snow so we can’t fuel these high river flows?“ said McInerney.

Whether the rivers flood during peak flows depends on cloud cover, temperatures, and the amount of snow.

“We take all three of those with probably some other variables, and we try to figure out, is it going to reach these flows?“ McInerney said.

It is still too early to rule out flooding next week, he said, even though it does not look likely.
“There are so many variables that are yet accounted for, and it might come to a game time decision,’” said the hydrologist. “What’s the temperature today? What’s the cloud cover today? What’s the amount of snow?“

In some neighborhoods that could be the difference for property damage.

“That’s still a day-to-day assessment,“ McInerney said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Rain moves across Salt Lake City on Sept. 21. Salt Lake City entered Friday, the last day of the wa...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

As the 2022 water year comes to a close, how did Utah fare?

Laura Haskell with the Utah Division of Water Resources finds it difficult to describe the 2022 water year because it has been all over the place.
22 hours ago
...
Ayanna Likens

Utah sees rise in auto-pedestrian crashes

An alarming concern on Utah roads — a rise in auto-pedestrian crashes, including three that happened within the last 24 hours.
22 hours ago
Two separate fatal crashes that started with drivers trying to flee from police did not result from...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

2 fatal crashes were not caused by police actions, district attorney concludes

The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office on Friday announced decisions regarding two fatal crashes that started with drivers allegedly trying to flee from police, including one in which an innocent bystander was killed.
22 hours ago
Delric Ellington and Kael Ellington talk about a stray bullet that entered their Salt Lake City hom...
Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL TV

Amid increase in youth shooting deaths, Utah pediatricians push for tougher gun laws

The number of Utah children and teens killed by gunfire reached a record high in 2020, in part because of a spike in homicides. Two Utah pediatricians are calling on the state to pass what they see as solutions to the troubling trend.
22 hours ago
(Ladd Egan/KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

General Conference: transportation, attendance, and more

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will host the 192nd Semiannual General Conference Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2, here's what you need to know.
22 hours ago
...
Angie Denison and Madison Swenson, KSL TV

KSL TV special programming for October 2022 General Conference weekend

KSL TV has produced a weekend of special programming, including several original documentaries, for the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday and Sunday.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Snow Pack, Warm Temps Pose Potential Flooding Problems