UTAH'S FLOOD WATCH

Explosives blow out ice bridge over Provo River

Jun 7, 2023, 6:24 PM | Updated: Jun 16, 2023, 11:58 am

PROVO, Utah — Traffic in Provo Canyon came to a temporary standstill Wednesday afternoon as a bomb squad used explosives to destroy an ice bridge that formed over the Provo River as a result of a massive avalanche by the popular Bridal Veil Falls over the winter.

The detonation was one of a few tactics to clear some of the avalanche debris to help reduce new safety concerns that emerged last week. It happened after volunteers and crews with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Highway Patrol and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District gathered at the waterfall to clear out some of the remaining debris, said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

‘Stay away’: Utah County officials urge caution around avalanche debris at Bridal Veil Falls

He explained that deputies halted traffic in the area for about 15 minutes as a safety precaution.

“When you use explosives in any kind of an operation, you have to exercise extreme caution because when the explosion goes up, it sends whatever is in the area up with it,” he said.

The avalanche occurred in January, leading to a deposit of about 20 to 30 feet or more of snow, ice, logs, branches, rocks and dirt by the base of the waterfall, initially covering the Provo River. Most of the deposit has remained there since then, which has ultimately led to safety concerns as the temperatures warm up and more people are seeking to recreate in the area, Cannon said.

He explained that the area by the waterfall is still closed; however, he said visitors have “consistently and regularly ignored” additional signs pointing out the closure.

The tipping point was a video that surfaced last week of a person jumping through a hole in the large deposit and into the raging river below. The individual was able to swim to shore unharmed. Cannon said that the main reason for Wednesday’s project was to “break down” some of the remaining avalanche deposit so that people can’t replicate what that person did.

It’s not just that the river is running faster than usual because of the season’s record snowpack, officials say people can be injured by landing on shallow boulders below fast-moving currents.

“That is incredibly risky behavior. It can be life-threatening,” he said. “We don’t want someone to die as a result of the risky behavior that that person engaged in here last week. … It boggles our mind that people think that it’s OK and safe to jump into the river here.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Utah's Flood Watch

Officials urge people to stay away from high-running waters, and to implement systems to avoid floo...

Shelby Lofton

Safety and flood warnings near rivers, reservoirs hit capacity

Heavy snow two years in a row left reservoirs filled to the brim. Now, high temperatures are making rivers more active than usual. Here is how you can keep your home and family safe this summer.

9 days ago

Rising temperatures have caused minor flooding from the Weber River, effecting two RV parks. (Andre...

Andrew Adams

Minor flooding expected in areas along Weber River in Summit County this week

Areas of two RV parks and acres of farmland were flooded Tuesday as the Weber River swelled with runoff waters. Water managers said they anticipated the potential for more minor flooding through the week with hot temperatures finally arriving.

18 days ago

Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir is sitting at capacity with a 12-foot depth in its deepest spots this M...

Andrew Adams

Sandy eyes forecast with runoff expected to increase

Eyes were on the forecast Thursday with a key reservoir sitting at capacity, and runoff waters expected to increase in the weeks to come.

1 month ago

Water levels in Weber County are high and officials are staying on alert. This past weekend, the sh...

Shelby Lofton

‘Things could change real quick for us:’ Weber County avoids weekend flooding, officials on alert

Water levels in Weber County are high and officials are staying on alert. This past weekend, the sheriff's office warned people to avoid streams and rivers due to rising waters, but no flooding took place.

2 months ago

Ogden River near flooding levels (Courtesy: Weber County Sheriff's Department)...

Carlysle Price

Weber County warned about potential flooding

Officials with the Ogden City Fire Department and Weber County Sheriff's Office are warning people to avoid streams and rivers in Weber County, as they are expected to run faster and fuller in correlation with spring's rising temperatures.

2 months ago

The Willard Spillway sending water to the Great Salt Lake....

Mike Anderson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Large amounts of water sent to Great Salt Lake ahead of spring runoff

While Utah did not have a record water year this year, water managers say there is so much water that some is being sent into the Great Salt Lake.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Explosives blow out ice bridge over Provo River