Flood watches extended across southern Utah as state hits record snowpack water level

Mar 15, 2023, 12:56 PM | Updated: 12:58 pm
Baker Reservoir on March 15, 2023. (Washington County Sheriff's Office)...
Baker Reservoir on March 15, 2023. (Washington County Sheriff's Office)
(Washington County Sheriff's Office)

SALT LAKE CITY — Flood watches have been extended through Thursday evening for parts of southern Utah as another round of storms brought heavy valley rain and mountain snow to the state.

With this latest snowpack addition, meteorologists say Utah has hit a statewide record snow water equivalent of 23.2 inches for March 15. Experts track Utah’s snowpack using snow water equivalent, which estimates how much snow would be in the water if it melted. Typically, the state’s snowpack peaks around April 1, with a 30-year median of 15.8 inches.

In southern Utah, heavy rain from Wednesday’s storms means higher flows are possible in all area streams, rivers and slot canyons.

In particular, the National Weather Service expects the Virgin River at Bloomington may approach, if not exceed, flood stage by Thursday morning.

The flood watch includes most of Kane County and the southern half of Washington County, along with most of Washington County east of Interstate 15.

Zion National Park is also covered by the flood watch. Rainfall combined with deep snowpack will create a dangerous runoff flowing into the Subway, the Narrows and other drainages throughout Zion National Park that feed into the Virgin River.

Wednesday morning, Washington County officials reported Gunlock and Baker reservoirs were spilling over. Deputies said both spillways were working as designed, and Washington County Emergency Services are monitoring the situation.

Baker Reservoir on March 15, 2023. (Washington County Sheriff's Office) Baker Reservoir on March 15, 2023. (Washington County Sheriff's Office) Baker Reservoir on March 15, 2023. (Washington County Sheriff's Office)

In northern Utah, Highland city officials reported some localized urban flooding Wednesday afternoon.

“We are currently working to help homeowners sandbag to protect their properties. Those willing and able to help sandbag would be greatly appreciated. Please report to 12663 N. Ponce De Leon Drive,” officials said.


Salt Lake County emergency service crews recommended all Utahns do the following to avoid any localized flooding as spring runoff begins to flow:

  • Ensure your gutters are free from debris (twigs, leaves, trash, etc.)
  • Clear storm drains near your house
  • Make sure your sump pump, French Drain, or any other kind of drainage system is in good working order

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Rigby Ranch in Newton, Utah, buried in snow on March 24, 2023. The constant string of storms is mak...
Alex Cabrero

Prolonged winter delays Utah farmers’ planting season

Utah farmers are grateful for all the snow this winter and the water that will come from it, but it's also causing some challenges.
1 day ago
A Torus flywheel. (KSL TV)...
Peter Rosen

Utah man creates company devoted to flywheel energy storage

What weighs as much as a Toyota Corolla, spins at thousands of rotations per minute, and, a Utah entrepreneur hopes, might one day live in your backyard and store power to run your home? It’s called flywheel energy storage.
1 day ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Rascon

Homeless get help, hope from SLC event that includes makeshift courtroom

Hundreds of homeless people gathered at the Salt Palace Friday to connect with services — including a makeshift courtroom — that could help get them off the streets.
1 day ago
FILE: for sale sign...
Ladd Egan

Utah home prices fall after nearly 11 years of increases

The Utah Association of Realtors reports that after 129 months of price increases, January marked the first, year-over-year decline in statewide home prices. And in February, prices dropped again.
1 day ago
Gwyneth Paltrow takes the witness stand to testify about a 2016 ski collision that caused a man to ...
Ayanna Likens

Utah law professor comments on Paltrow ski crash trial as actress takes the stand

The first week of actress Gwyneth Paltrow's trial wrapped up Friday. Paltrow is being sued over a 2016 ski accident. A University of Utah Professor of Law said this trial is very unique.
1 day ago
Before and after measuring station...
Jed Boal

Utah’s record snow is so deep it buried measuring equipment

The record-breaking snowfall this winter has been phenomenal, maybe even more so in the eyes of those who study it closely.  
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

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.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
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.
Flood watches extended across southern Utah as state hits record snowpack water level