St. George experiencing minor flooding; past mitigation work paying off

Mar 17, 2023, 10:01 PM | Updated: 10:27 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah — It’s that time of the year when lots of people head to St. George from Salt Lake City to get out of the cold and play some golf.

“Oh yeah,” said Marty Malheiro. “It is nice to be here.”

Malheiro lives in Salt Lake City and says the golf trip has become a tradition for her and her friends.

“It’s not snowing,” Barbara Couch said with a laugh.

It sure felt nice for them to leave winter behind, but this year, not even St. George was far enough away from challenging weather.

“We couldn’t play any golf because of all the rain,” said Ray Malheiro. “We got a little rained out when we first got down here.”

It was more than a little. St. George has been getting so much rain and so much water from the snow runoff from the Pine Valley Mountains, the Santa Clara River started flooding in some areas. It was enough to do some damage at Southgate Golf Course.

“We have decided to close the front nine while we make repairs specifically to cart paths and bridge embankments. We wanted to make sure those were safe for the public,” said Marc Mortensen, assistant city manager of St. George.

Mortensen said some hiking trails near the river also had to be closed.

There was also some minor damage at Sunbrook Golf Course because of all the water, though city crews have cleaned up much of the silt and debris the water left behind.

“We are waiting for the water to recede before we open Blackrock nine at Sunbrook,” Mortensen said.

There was massive flooding in St. George in 2005 and 2010, but this year, St. George city leaders say they are better prepared.

The city and Washington County have done a lot of flood mitigation work, such as digging deeper channels, wrapping them with heavy rock and rip-rap lining, as well as constructing more stormwater drains and water retention ponds in an effort to try and prevent uncontrolled flooding into homes.

So far, it’s made a difference this year.

“The flows were equivalent to those in 2005 and 2010, so pretty heavy flows coming down this year,” Mortensen said. “A lot of that work, it certainly paid off. And we anticipate it’ll continue to pay off in the years to come.”

Even with as much water as St. George has received this week, all the golf courses in the city were open. That’s good news for Malheiro and her friends. They were able to play the back nine hole at Southgate and have plans to play other courses this week and next week.

They said it’s just nice to get outside.

“It’s not bad. A little wet, but not bad,” Ray said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Winter storm warnings are in place for the mountains of Utah, starting on Monday, March 20, 2022. (...
Larry D. Curtis and Madison Swenson

Winter storm warning in effect for portions of Utah mountains

Winter storm warnings have been issued for much of Utah, with heavy snow expected in certain areas.
17 hours ago
On Friday, March 17, 2023, this avalanche caught three backcountry tourers in upper Rapid Creek, so...
Logan Smith, KCNC

Colorado man killed in avalanche, two others rescued

Two men are reportedly hospitalized and one is dead after they were caught in an avalanche Friday near the town of Marble.
2 days ago
Utah snowpack...
 Carter Williams

‘It just keeps coming’: Warnings issued in Utah with wintry week ahead

Monday is officially the first day of spring, but it might not feel like that in parts of Utah.
2 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Andrew Adams

Emergency managers update flood response preparations as more storms line up

With more storms lining up next week, state emergency managers met during a call Friday to update and coordinate plans for flood preparations and response while looking ahead at the areas of greatest risk over the next two weeks.
4 days ago
Gunlock Falls...
Shara Park

Park officials urge visitor safety as water flows at Gunlock State Park

An urgent safety warning for anyone who plans to visit the stunning waterfalls at Gunlock State Park in Southern Utah.
4 days ago
Courtney Rundell installing sump...
Mike Anderson

Plumbers busy with sump pump calls in northern Utah

As the weather starts to warm up, a growing number of people are preparing for the spring runoff.
4 days 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.
St. George experiencing minor flooding; past mitigation work paying off