Provo Airport parking lot floods after heavy rain, snowfall

Jan 11, 2023, 5:36 PM | Updated: 7:02 pm

PROVO, Utah — It’s what many Utahns have been praying for. But even in a drought devastated state, there can be too much water if it shows up in the wrong places.

“We would always like it to come in a certain fashion, where it doesn’t create floods,” said Shane Winters, director of public services for Provo City.

Flooding is exactly what happened at the Provo Airport parking lot on Tuesday. At least a dozen cars were in water high enough to reach the tops of tires.

Provo Airport flooded Tuesday, Jan. 10. (Provo City) Provo Airport flooded Tuesday, Jan. 10. (Provo City) Provo Airport flooded Tuesday, Jan. 10. (Provo City) Provo Airport flooded Tuesday, Jan. 10. (Provo City) Provo Airport flooded Tuesday, Jan. 10. (Provo City) Provo Airport flooded Tuesday, Jan. 10. (Provo City)

“When I first saw this, I thought, wow, that’s a lot of water,” Winters said.

Winters said the ground was already saturated from all of the recent snow and rain.

Since the brand new airport is located close to Utah Lake, ground water close to the surface is an issue, too.

“With that, it doesn’t allow water to move sometimes through the ground very well,” he said. “We have received a lot of snow, heavy wet snow with rain, and then heavy wet snow with rain. So, it’s kind of been back and forth, and with that, that has really allowed a lot of water to be conveyed kind of down in the airport area. It’s a unique situation that doesn’t happen very often.”

Public works crews spent Wednesday pumping water out of the parking lot.

Most of the cars that were in deep water have been moved.

So far, the city says there have been no damage claims.

Plans were already in place to build a second pump station on airport property to help with water issues. Construction is set to begin next month, but too late for what happened on Tuesday.

“Our first reaction is what do we need to do about it? We were on top of this really quickly,” Winters said.

As for all of that water, and what’s still to come this winter, Winters feels the more, the better. It’s just a matter of keeping it where it should be.

“For the city, for Utah, we will take as much water as we can get,” he said.

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Provo Airport parking lot floods after heavy rain, snowfall