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Stillwater Reservoir Overflows, Makes For Temporary Attraction

DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah – Waters were spilling over the brim of Stillwater dam Monday, creating a sight to be seen for many people. The dam stands taller than Niagra Falls, and is longer than two football fields. Glen Fleener has been coming up to the dam for fifteen years, but has never seen it spill over before.

“It’s quite the sight,” Fleener said. “It’s worth the trip to come up even when it’s not spilling.”

Stillwater Dam

Another regular to the reservoir, Kyzlee Farnsworth said she and her family had never seen it flow that strong before, running at around 740 cubic feet per second.

Kyzlee Farnsworth, right

“I think it’s real pretty. We love coming and seeing it,” Farnsworth said. “Usually you can walk right up under it, and this year it’s flooded clear out. It’s really cool.”

The temporary attraction, which is expected to continue through the first week of July is the result of a very plentiful snowpack, and lots of spring rain.

“It kind of goes in a pattern, every couple of years it will spill, and then we’ll go a couple of years without spilling,” Area Manager for The Central Utah Water Conservancy District , or CUWCD, Troy Ovard said.”Everybody wants to see it spill. It’s a beautiful attraction, and all the locals know, they kind of know we have a high snowpack, and they expect it to be spilling.”

Ovard said that this is the second-highest spill in the dam’s history, falling behind the record in 2011. Forecasters and water managers keep a close watch on the melting snow, determining how much water can be released at a time.

“Those folks work in some cases 24 hours a day,” CUWCD General Manager, Gene Shawcroft said. “Those changes have to be made quickly, based on the weather, based on the snowpack; is it going to rain, is it not going to rain, is it going to freeze in the Uintas and slow things down?”

Gene Shawcroft

People wanting to see the Stillwater dam overflow, can check the reservoir’s conditions ahead of time here:  http://data.cuwcd.com/data/reservoirs/index.htm?utm_source=s5_mobile_site&utm_medium=mobile&utm_campaign=s5_83257

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