UTAH'S FLOOD WATCH

‘Keep away’: Salt Lake City officials urge water safety amid spring runoff

Apr 12, 2024, 7:32 PM

The raised waters Parleys Creek in Sugar House Park as the warm weather melts snow in the mountains...

The raised waters Parleys Creek in Sugar House Park as the warm weather melts snow in the mountains. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY – Though Utah had an above-average snowpack this year, Salt Lake City officials say flooding is not a huge concern – certainly not like it was last year. But officials are still urging recreators to be extra careful around water.

Travis Mundt knows all too well how dangerous rushing water can be. Just last year, he was at Tanner Park with his dog, Oliver. The water levels were high, and seconds after Oliver ran ahead of his owner, he fell in.

“He was swept away from the fast-running water,” Mundt said.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of rescue crews, Oliver was never found. Now, their story serves as a cautionary tale.

“This could sweep a kid or a small dog away very easily,” said Christopher George, a firefighter and paramedic with the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

Travis Mundt holding a photo of his dog Oliver, who was killed after rushing into high water in 2023.

Travis Mundt holding a photo of his dog Oliver, who was killed after rushing into high water in 2023. (KSL TV)

Though water levels may seem low right now, officials said the water is stronger than you think, and any increase in water flow can be dangerous.

Not only is the water freezing, which poses an issue in and of itself, but our creeks, streams, and rivers are running faster and higher than normal, so it’s best to use caution.

“We ask that you keep your children within arm’s reach and away from the water’s edge. A child can enter the water in seconds, so please treat these waterways like a busy highway and keep away,” said Capt. Brandt Hancuff with the SLC Fire.

First responders said if you’re out recreating and someone falls in the water, don’t jump in after them. Instead, keep a visual on their location and call 911. First responders will perform a swift water rescue.

SLC Fire demonstrating what to do if you fall into rushing waters.

SLC Fire demonstrates what to do if you fall into rushing waters. (KSL TV)

If you get swept away by rushing water, lie on your back and point your feet downstream. First responders ask you to use your arms to steer until you can get yourself safely out of the water.

“Don’t let it happen to you. Be aware of running water. Take it seriously. It’s not a joke,” Mundt said.

The fire department is also encouraging everyone to learn CPR. SLC Fire offers classes throughout the year.

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‘Keep away’: Salt Lake City officials urge water safety amid spring runoff