LOCAL NEWS

Wet winter leads to flooding at Bonneville Salt Flats

Jan 24, 2023, 11:06 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2023, 9:53 am

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — The Bonneville Salt Flats have flooded after all the rain Utah has had this winter.

Geologist Jeremiah Bernau with the Utah Geological Survey has studied the Salt Flats for six years. He said this is the wettest he’s ever seen it.

“It’s extremely diluted,” he said. “There’s a lot of water that’s come into the system recently.”

It’s not unusual to see some flooding out at the Salt Flats. Last year’s Speed Week event was cancelled because of it, but Bernau said the amount of water that’s collected at the Salt Flats right now is significant.

“There’s a much deeper area that can get maybe one to two feet deep. As you go away from that, it gets a lot thinner out to the edges,” he said.

The usually desolate, white raceway now looks more like a giant puddle. Bernau said ice has been spotted on the surface of the floodwaters.

“All that salt that dissolves when we have all this rain, it’s not going anywhere,” Bernau said.

Visitors still flock to the Salt Flats, but the unusually high water makes some people, particularly those in the racing community, nervous.

“What is most likely to lead to a racing event being cancelled is if we have a rainfall occurring in the summer,” Bernau said.

He said having this much water at the Salt Flats is a great thing to see.

“Having a wetter climate, or more rainfall, is better for the long-term health of the salt crust,” he said.

The water will go, but the salt will stay.

“I’m actually optimistic that this upcoming year, if we have a really nice, hot summer that evaporates all the brine, will be good for racing,” Bernau said.

As for the photo opportunities out at the flats, Bernau said even with the flooding, they’re still there.

“I’ve seen people do some amazing things with the reflection when there’s that shallow water out there.”

The UGS recently installed a photo station at the end of the Salt Flats access road off Interstate 80 Exit 4.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

One the of climbers in the training camp climbing a wall. (KSL-TV's Alex Cabrero)...
Alex Cabrero

USA Climbing Camp for Paris 2024 begins in Salt Lake City

As the Summer 2024 Olympic Games draws closer, those athletes looking to participate begin their training. 
18 hours ago
The large herd of about 60 elk near the mouth of Parley's Canyon on Thursday. (Utah Department of W...
Michael Houck

DWR officials warn of migrating elk entering Salt Lake City

A migrating herd of approximately 60 elk is causing problems for residents and drivers near the mouth of Parley's Canyon.
18 hours ago
Former longtime Murray Mayor Dan Snarr is photographed on Dec. 13, 2013. Snarr, 73, was charged Thu...
Pat Reavy

Former Murray mayor accused of spitting in driver’s face in road rage case

The former longtime mayor of Murray has been charged with spitting in the face of another driver during a road rage incident.
18 hours ago
Handcuffs in a jail cell FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

Sandy man threatened to kill parents after shooting TVs, police say

A Sandy man was charged Friday with shooting two televisions and threatening to kill his parents and go on a killing spree.
18 hours ago
FILE PHOTO...
KSL.com

West Jordan man arrested in child porn, voyeurism investigation

A man who described himself to police as being highly skilled with computers has been arrested for allegedly possessing child porn and placing hidden cameras in his home.
18 hours ago
A former administrator of a popular Facebook group used for inviting singles to parties was ordered...
KSL.com

West Jordan man ordered to stand trial in sexual assaults at party for singles

A former administrator of a popular Facebook group used for inviting singles to parties and other events was ordered Friday to stand trial on multiple charges of rape and sexual abuse.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
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: Take this Quiz 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.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Wet winter leads to flooding at Bonneville Salt Flats