Flood warnings continue in Utah — and it’s going to get hot

A man was also hospitalized Sunday after he was rescued from the Jordan River.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A group of kayakers navigate the high flow of the Ogden River on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

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As Utah temperatures rise and snow melts, minor to moderate flooding is expected in several areas — and officials are keeping a watchful eye on several other spots.

A flood warning remains in effect for the south fork of the Ogden River near Huntsville. According to the National Weather Service, the river will be at minor flood stage until further notice.

Officials ordered two homes near Huntsville evacuated on Sunday because of localized flooding; 10 others voluntarily evacuated. Dozens of homes are being affected by the flood waters, according to Weber County officials.

A bridge on the river above Huntsville is also at risk of erosion. Crews are working to divert the flow around the bridge to prevent it from being washed away and, potentially, obstructing the Weber River downstream, according to Weber County officials.

The flood warning is expected to continue for several days.

More flood warnings:

• A flood warning remains in effect along the Bear River in eastern Rich County. Moderate flooding is expected to continue from around Woodruff up to the Utah/Wyoming border on agricultural land and low-lying roads adjacent to the river. The warning continues through Friday.

• A flood warning remains in effect until further notice for the Sevier River near Hatch, affecting Kane, Sevier, Garfield, Iron and Piute counties. According to the National Weather Service, snowmelt and increased reservoir releases is causing high river flows, and minor flooding is expected, with minor damage possible for some bridges and low-lying structures.

• A flood warning is in effect until 7:45 p.m. on Thursday near the Strawberry River as it enters the Strawberry Reservoir in Wasatch County. Flooding is currently hampering access to the reservoir’s marina.

• There are also flood advisories in effect for the Blacksmith Fork River near Hyrum and the Bear River near Corinne until further notice.

Man falls in Jordan River

A 30-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition on Sunday after he fell into the Jordan River at about 4:15 p.m., according to South Salt Lake police.

First responders entered the river to rescue him. No update on his condition was available Monday.

South Salt Lake police urged “extreme caution” near streams and rivers.

“With the record snowfall melting, our streams and rivers are flowing higher and faster,” police said. “This makes accidental falls significantly more dangerous.”

(South Salt Lake Police Department) A man who fell in the Jordan River was rescued by South Salt Lake police on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Temperatures will rise

According to the weather service, high pressure is building over Utah, which is fueling a “warming trend” that will take temperatures well above normal across much of the state this week.

In the Salt Lake City area, the forecast calls for highs in the low to mid-80s through Friday, and even warmer over the weekend, with a high of 88 forecast on Saturday and 90 on Sunday. That’s 10-15 degrees above normal for this time of year.

There’s a 20% chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms Monday-Wednesday, rising to a 50% chance on Thursday.

This week’s high temperatures have caused some waterways in northern Utah to breach their banks.

In Cache Valley, water could be seen above the banks of the Little Bear River and Logan River early Monday.

Nathan Daugs, manager of the Cache Water District, said as of Monday there were no immediate risks of flooding outside of regular spillways, but noted the risk of flooding will only increase in the coming weeks.

“We’ve been pretty lucky so far,” Daugs said. “I’m glad there’s not been significant flooding.”

However, he added that the above-average temperatures could change his outlook. Cache Valley could see highs into the 80s this week, and Daugs said that could lead to more water covering roadways, which is already happening for a small handful of roads in the county.

(Jacob Scholl | The Salt Lake Tribune) Water is flowing above the banks of the Logan River, as seen here on Monday, May 15, 2023 in Logan. Warm temperatures across northern Utah continue to accelerate snowmelt.

South of Cache, water managers are also monitoring waterways.

Scott Paxman — general manager of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, which covers Weber, Davis, Summit and Morgan counties, among others — said the area’s peak water flows could take place as early as the end of this week, which could spell localized flooding.

Still, despite flooding along the south fork of the Ogden River, Paxman said this spring has been close to ideal.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better spring, really,” Paxman said. “It’s been cooler, for the most part, which has allowed a lot of that lower- and mid-level snow to come down really reasonably.”

Around 50% of the area’s snowpack has melted off, Paxman said. Much of the remaining snow sits in high elevation levels, which typically melts off more slowly. He still expects East Canyon Reservoir in Morgan County to spill over at some point this spring, but said that prospect is several weeks away.

“Unless the weather really throws a foul ball at us or something and turns to upper 90s immediately, I think everything looks good,” Paxman said Monday morning.

In southern Utah, it will also be about five degrees hotter than normal. Temperatures in the low 90s are expected in the St. George area through the upcoming weekend. Not much precipitation is expected, but there’s a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Utah

• Salt Lake County and the Utah Department of Transportation are working to protect the Big Cottonwood Water Treatment Plant from possible flooding.

• State Road 89 through Spanish Fork Canyon is expected to reopen sometime on Monday. It has been closed at Thistle because of flooding.

• The Garland City culinary water treatment plant continues to be impacted by flooding. Overflow is being pumped from the treatment facility in northeastern Box Elder County.

• The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Utah Division of Water Resources and Cache County continue to monitor the spillway at Hyrum Dam, near the southeast corner of Hyrum City, for potential high-flow releases into the Little Bear River.

• The Bureau of Reclamation is still monitoring the Causey Reservoir, 15 miles northeast of Ogden. Overflow into the spillway began May 4 and is ongoing.