CRIME

Panguitch area residents urged to be alert, prepared for evacuation after latest assessment at dam

Apr 9, 2024, 8:16 PM | Updated: Apr 10, 2024, 10:15 am

PANGUITCH — A Level 2 Emergency Situation has been posted for Panguitch Lake Dam while people in the area are urged to be prepared and alert for the possibility of evacuation. Earlier Tuesday, access to the dam, which still has snow and ice on it, was restricted, along with access to state Route 143.

“It is a precautionary measure aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents in the vicinity,” the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said.

The situation was elevated to Level 2, according to the sheriff’s office, at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday after the latest assessments by a “team of experts.” Level 3 would mean an evacuation in the area. Panguitch Creek flows from Panguitch Lake to the city of Panguitch.

The city’s population was a little less than 2,000 at the 2020 census, while it is currently listed at 1,840 by worldpopulationreview.com.

Transverse cracking was observed on the upper portion of the dam on Monday. 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.

The Level 2 designation means there is a potential for dam failure. The office said:

Our teams are working tirelessly to monitor the situation and implement all necessary precautions. We urge the public to remain vigilant, follow all safety instructions, and prepare for the possibility of evacuation.

“While there is no immediate threat to public safety, the situation could rapidly evolve. We are closely monitoring the dam and are prepared to escalate our response if necessary,” the office said.

The flash flood watch covers parts of the southern mountains and upper Sevier River valleys, including communities like Alton, Kane County; Brian Head; Circleville, Piute County; Koosharem, Sevier County; and Panguitch. It remains in place “until further notice.”

Residents of Panguitch and the surrounding areas are urged to be prepared for a possible evacuation if the situation is evaluated at level 3. The office said residents should be prepared in the following ways:

  • Stay Informed: Follow updates from official channels. We will communicate through all available resources, including reverse 911 calls, social media platforms, and local news outlets.
  • Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes. Should evacuation be necessary, residents should proceed east towards Hatch as the primary evacuation route.
  • Emergency Kits: Ensure your emergency kits are ready and contain essential items such as water, food, medications, and important documents.
  • Inform Others: Please take some time to notify family, friends, and neighbors in the area to ensure they are prepared and have any assistance that may be needed.

“Please know that if a failure occurs, we feel there is plenty of time to conduct an orderly evacuation before the water reaches Panguitch,” the sheriff’s office said.

The lake was a natural lake that was turned into a reservoir through a series of water projects, starting as early as 1885, according to the state.

Panguitch Lake is situated at an elevation of 8,212 feet approximately 18 miles southwest of Panguitch, Utah. (U.S. Forest Service)

The Utah Division of Water Resources said the reservoir was 87% full and holding nearly 19,500 acre-feet of water on Tuesday morning.

The reservoir is also a popular fishing spot in the region. It’s home to rainbow trout, Bear Lake cutthroat trout and tiger trout, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The DWR on Wednesday issued an emergency fishing closure at the lake.

Contributing: Debbie Worthen, KSL TV, and Carter Williams, KSL.com

KSL 5 TV Live

Crime

FILE: Salt Lake City police said a 51-year-old man was taken into custody Saturday for allegedly ho...

Mark Jones

Salt Lake City police arrest suspect in domestic violence situation

Salt Lake City police said a 51-year-old man was taken into custody Saturday for allegedly holding a woman against her will.

8 hours ago

Richins and her legal team in the courtroom....

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Kouri Richins’ attorneys ask to withdraw from representing her in murder case

Attorneys for Kouri Richins requested to withdraw as her defense counsel and asked a judge to appoint new defense attorneys on Friday.

8 hours ago

A Salt Lake City Police squad car parked near West Indiana and Navajo Street following a domestic v...

Carlysle Price

SLCPD investigating two shootings near Glendale neighborhoods

The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating two unrelated shootings that took place early Saturday morning near Glendale and Poplar Grove neighborhoods.

16 hours ago

Kouri Richins talks with her lawyers in court....

Devin Oldroyd, KSL NewsRadio

Kouri Richins defense team asks for prosecution to be dismissed

Kouri Richins’ defense team is asking that the prosecution be dismissed, alleging that prosecutors violated her Sixth Amendment rights.

1 day ago

FILE - In this image taken from San Francisco Police Department body-camera video, the husband of f...

Olga R. Rodriguez, Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

1 day ago

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 13: A police officer stands at the entrance to the Embassy of Israel on Octo...

Associated Press

As Japan’s yakuza weakens, police focus shifts to unorganized crime hired via social media

Police in Japan who were busy tracking thousands of yakuza members just a few years ago have set their eyes on a new threat: unorganized and loosely connected groups.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

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.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Panguitch area residents urged to be alert, prepared for evacuation after latest assessment at dam