LOCAL NEWS

Damage at Panguitch Lake Dam leads to highway closure, limited lake access

Apr 9, 2024, 10:09 AM | Updated: 4:11 pm

Access to Panguitch Lake and state Route 143 will be limited after deputies with the Garfield Count...

Access to Panguitch Lake and state Route 143 will be limited after deputies with the Garfield County Sheriff's Office were told about damage to the lake's dam. (Ben Tidswell)

(Ben Tidswell)

PANGUITCH — Access to Panguitch Lake and state Route 143 will be limited after deputies with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office were told about damage to the lake’s dam.

Deputies said transverse cracking was seen on the upper portion of the dam on Monday and they are monitoring the conditions with local emergency management, city and West Panguitch Irrigation Company officials.

“The damage to the dam is not severe enough to warrant immediate evacuations,” deputies said. Emergency personnel have been stationed at the dam to closely monitor conditions.

“If conditions worsen, emergency notification will be made through all available resources,” deputies said.

The Utah Department of Transportation has closed a 17-mile stretch of S.R. 143 from Panguitch to just below the lake. S.R. 143 remains open above the lake to Brian Head and Parowan.

Deputies will limit all access to Panguitch Lake as well.

Panguitch Lake was a natural lake before it was turned into a reservoir through a series of projects that began as early as 1885, according to the state. Per the Utah Division of Water Resources, the reservoir was holding almost 19,500 acre-feet of water as of Tuesday morning, making it about 87% full.

Deputies said the damage to the dam isn’t severe enough to warrant immediate evacuations. However, if conditions worsen emergency notification will be made through all available resources. Video is courtesy of Ben Tidwell.

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Damage at Panguitch Lake Dam leads to highway closure, limited lake access