‘It’s very dangerous’: Increased flows expected for Provo River next week

May 19, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:08 pm

PROVO CANYON, Utah  – Those who live and recreate along the Provo River are being warned that there will be a significant increase in water over the next week.

“We’re going to be pushing the capacity of the river and the dike system, the levee system along the river,” said Dave Decker, Provo City’s public works director.

Decker said Deer Creek Dam has alerted the city that it will begin releasing extra water for the next week and possibly longer. Currently, the Provo River is flowing between 700 to 800 cubic feet per second.

“Each day we’ll see about 100 cfs additional flow in the river,” Decker said. “So it’s going to double over the next week or so.”

The daily increases will bring the river’s flow to about 1,500 cfs, which is very close to flood stage, Deck said.

“It’s very dangerous,” Decker added. “It’s a significant increase that residents are going to see.”

In addition to extra water being released from Deer Creek Reservoir, there’s also a significant amount of water entering the river from the North Fork of the Provo, which passes by Sundance.

“As we see temperatures increase—particularly over the next seven to 10 days—we’re very concerned about the North Fork and the contributions it’s going to make to the river.”

The increase in flow along the Provo River comes as more people are heading outdoors to recreate. Decker urged people to pay attention to the changing river.

A tweet from Provo City warned residents of a “substantial increase in flows.”

“The high flows will be extremely dangerous, cold, and swift,” the tweet said. “Please maintain a safe distance and keep children and pets away from the water.”

Decker said there could be possible trail closures, especially in areas where the trail travels along the river under a bridge. He reminded to never go around a trail closure.

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‘It’s very dangerous’: Increased flows expected for Provo River next week