Rivers crest overnight, flood warnings dropped

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Residents in flood-prone areas of the Wasatch Front spent an intense night watching rivers for flooding. Several rivers crested overnight, and flood warnings were dropped at 12:30 p.m.

Emigration Creek

One of the flood warnings, which remained in effect until about 8:30 a.m., was for Emigration Creek.

The river has receded since Monday night, but the National Weather Service wants to let authorities check the creek before it changes the flood warning. No new flooding is reported there Tuesday morning. Around 6:10 a.m. the flow was at 102 cubic feet per second. The banks are full at 110 cubic feet per second, with flood stage at 130.

Floodwaters reach the patio of Ruth's Diner in Emigration Canyon Monday evening.
Floodwaters reach the patio of Ruth's Diner in Emigration Canyon Monday evening.

The water level peaked around 8 p.m. Monday.

Ruth's Diner closed as water flooded the outdoor patio. Owner Tracy Nelson runs the diner with her husband and children. She says in 25 years she has never seen the creek that high.

"I believe the worst is yet to come," she said. "I don't know. We're hoping to save this old diner. That's our biggest concern."

Weber River

The Weber River peaked around 3:30 a.m. at 17.5 feet and dropped to about 16.9 by 6 a.m.

Crews shut down the Riverdale Parkway around 11 p.m. because water from the river washed out the trail.

About seven nearby homes flooded. Richard Sant, one of a couple hundred volunteers, said, "The homes, some of them had water damage under the basement. Before I came out here to do this, we had one that was pretty bad. At this time they're still pumping the water."


A flood warning from the National Weather Service remained in effect until 11:30 a.m. for the Weber River from Gateway downstream to Plain City, including the community of Riverdale.

The Blacksmith Fork of the Weber River is out of its banks in parts of Cache County. Some of the heaviest flooding was reported Monday around the town of Hyrum.

The river also caused problems in Morgan County from the town of Peterson to Morgan itself.

Chalk Creek

A flood warning remained in effect for Chalk Creek near Coalville until 12:30 p.m. Homes five miles upstream from Coalville are expected to receive flood damage. Flooding also reached the Summit County Fair Grounds.

Six acres of Colby Pace's farm in Coalville is under two feet of water. It reached his front door early Tuesday morning.

Pace says it's nothing he hasn't seen before and will be something he'll likely see again.

Crews close Riverdale Parkway.
Crews close Riverdale Parkway.

Coalville Mayor Duane Schmidt is doing his best to have debris removed from under bridges. He says as long as they can keep the water moving, hopefully flooding can be controlled.

"There is not a whole lot you can do other than keeping the logs from damming up the river," he said. "We have our track hoe back by our sewer plant right now pulling out logs. Other than that, sandbag the low areas and try to control what you can control."

Schmidt says today's flood risk is just the beginning of what's to come.

"I think the rain has created a lot of problems for us, but I also think this is the beginning of the problem," he said.

Stage is set for May flooding

National Weather Service hydrologists tell KSL the worst is over for now, but the stage is set for potential flooding again in May.

"We haven't even touched the snowpack yet," said Brian McInerney. He blames current flooding on low intensity rain over a 12-hour period falling on already-saturated soil.

"Right now we're about two weeks late on melting low- and middle- elevation snow," he said. "Our current snowpack is overall about 150 percent of normal to about 175 percent of normal. We need to start melting that off in an orderly process, melt the low elevation first, the mid-elevation, then the high elevation, get it all off in an orderly fashion."

He said the current weather is compressing the window of time for the snowpack to melt. Mild weather over the next six weeks will help avoid flooding.


Written with contributions from Shara Park and Andrew Adams.


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