4 Provo River trail crossings closed as river remains high

A closure sign is placed by a section of the Provo River Parkway Trail on June 5. Provo officials said Monday that four trail crossings are currently closed because of high Provo River currents.

A closure sign is placed by a section of the Provo River Parkway Trail on June 5. Provo officials said Monday that four trail crossings are currently closed because of high Provo River currents. (Stuart Johnson, KSL-TV)


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PROVO — Four trail crossings along the Provo River are currently closed because of its swift currents, days after a 12-year-old Arizona boy died after falling into the river.

The Geneva Road, FrontRunner and 2230 North under crossings of the Provo River Parkway Trail are all closed because of "high river levels," Provo Parks and Recreation officials said on Monday. They add that the Canyon Glen Bridge is also closed; some of the closures were put in place last week as water began seeping onto the trail.

It wasn't immediately clear how long the closures will remain in place. Park officials added that there has been some flooding at Paul Ream Wilderness Park.

"The Provo River is running high and fast. Please stay away from the river, and use caution along all river crossings," the department wrote on social media. "Respect all closures and barricades."

The closures come after a 12-year-old boy visiting Utah with family died after falling into the Provo River on Saturday.

Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Garrett Dutson said the boy fell into the river near Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon and was carried about 4 miles downstream before Utah County Search and Rescue was able to pull him from the water. The boy, who had been in the water for about 30 minutes, was taken to a hospital where he died.

The Provo River is flowing faster than normal because of controlled releases from Deer Creek Reservoir, which is at full capacity. Utah County sheriff's officials had warned on Friday that river flows had jumped to 2,000 cubic feet per second and minor flooding was possible along parts of the Provo River.

The controlled releases began as hot temperatures started melting what's left of Utah's higher-elevation snowpack. Natural Resources Conservation Service officials said higher streamflows were projected for bodies of water fed by these higher-elevation areas, such as Big and Little Cottonwood creeks and the Weber and Provo rivers.

"The reservoirs — Deer Creek and Jordanelle — are still full and they're still receiving quite a bit of runoff," Provo City floodplain manager Jacob O'Bryant told KSL-TV last week. "That's why we're seeing a lot of extra flows here as we anticipate these high temperatures."

O'Bryant added that the city prepared for potential flooding by clearing as much debris and obstructions from the river as possible. Thousands of sandbags were also filled in case they were needed.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.

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