Waterfall of runoff damages road in Payson Canyon

May 23, 2023, 6:12 AM | Updated: 1:03 pm

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Spring runoff waters carved their own path across the road through Payson Canyon, leaving damage in the area that crews said could delay the area’s opening by at least a couple of weeks.
According to Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, it was unclear when exactly the majority of the damage occurred.

“As it’s come over the road, it’s eroded away on the opposite shoulder and as a result, it’s eating back underneath the asphalt,” Cannon told KSL TV on Monday.

Because workers were already busy with repairs in Hobble Creek Canyon, Cannon said it was possible crews wouldn’t get to the damage until next week sometime.

“They try to target Memorial Day weekend for getting the canyons and everything open,” Cannon said. “The opening is probably going to be delayed by a couple of weeks and these are the reasons why.”

Cannon said that kind of work was undoubtedly going on currently at a number of high-elevation locations across the state of Utah.

“They’ve got to get these things taken care of before they can get the canyons open so people can safely use them,” Cannon said.

It was only the latest of several spring runoff-related issues to surface in the county.

Over the weekend, a sinkhole developed at Fox Hollow Golf Club in American Fork.

U.S. Highway 89 in Spanish Fork Canyon between Fairview and Thistle reopened late last week following several days of flooding.

Crews on Monday were actively monitoring and managing the Provo River with flows expected to nearly double in volume by the end of the week.

Late Monday, Jeff Budge with the Provo River Water Users Association said flows out of Deer Creek Reservoir were at 1,000 cubic feet per second and workers were planning to open the spill gates Tuesday morning to add an additional 200 CFS.

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Waterfall of runoff damages road in Payson Canyon