Flood Information Center (2011)
The winter snow fall has accumulated to over 200% of average in some of the mountain drainage areas. Combine this extremely high snow pack with the relatively cold spring we have experienced and the Spanish Fork River is set for possible high water flows in the coming weeks.
Weather will now determine how quickly the snow will melt in the mountains. The hotter the weather, the quicker the snow will melt and the higher and faster the water will flow.
The Spanish Fork River has flooded a few times in recorded history, with the 3 most memorable floods in 1952, 1983 and 1984. These years recorded water flow in excess of 3,000 cubic feet / second (cfs). In the Spring, the Spanish Fork River flow will typically exceed 1,000 cfs and peak somewhere near 1,500 cfs.
Concerns Around the River
There are 3 major concerns that citizens should be aware of with high water flow along the river.
- Riverbank Erosion. Swift water can easily eat away a riverbank, from the bottom up. You may remember some of the images from St. George a few years ago where the Virgin River carved a wider river channel, eating away golf courses, backyards and even a few homes. Erosion can eat away a tall river bank, allow water to escape the channel and flood into low-lying areas.
- High Water Flow. As the river level rises, it may eventually flow beyond its banks over bridges, backyards, streets, parks, etc.
- Walking Near the River. Residents should exercise extreme caution anytime they are near a river. With the Spring run-off, the river moves swiftly and carries a lot of debris. Someone walking on a trail or playing at the river's edge may stumble unsuspectingly into the water because the bank has been eaten away below. Parents should pay special attention to their children while they are playing at the Sports Park. Be sure your children stay close to you and do not wander by the trail and river. Please keep children away from the river.
Please check back to this site often for updates and information.