1st-Stage Emergency At Hyrum Dam, Snowmelt Causing Northern Utah Flooding

Feb 10, 2017

Weather officials are warning of warm weather causing rapid snowmelt and flooding in some parts of Utah, including issuing a 1st-stage emergency at Hyrum Dam.

Homeowners outside of Logan woke up to flooded basements and motorists found water pooled on nearby roads.

Flooding is widespread throughout Cache Valley with multiple roads washed out or structurally compromised. Current Emergency Road Closures are:

* Smithfield Canyon Road

* Ivan’s Hollow (High Creek Road), Cove

* 1400 South from 3200 West to 3600 West

Current Roads with Extreme Caution Advisories are:

* Yonk/Baker Loop Road (000 and 600 North), Mendon

* 1800 South from 2400 West to 3200 West, Young Ward

* 3200 West from Mendon Road to 2200 South, Young Ward

* 3800 West from 2200 South, Young Ward

* 5400 West from Mendon Road to 2400 South, Mendon

* East Canyon Road, Avon

Visit the Cache County website for a map of current closures and caution advisories.

Authorities are also keeping a close eye on Hyrum Dam in Cache County following a break at a similar, rural dam in Nevada on Wednesday. 

Federal water managers are declaring a first-stage flood emergency and say they need to release water from the dam.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Friday that sending water from Hyrum Dam down the Little Bear River toward the Cache County town of Wellsville is not expected to cause property damage or endanger people.

Local reclamation chief Wayne Pullan says the "level-one" emergency is the lowest on a three-step scale. He calls it a precaution that opens communication lines with county and local agencies. It isn't expected to cause flooding, but Pullan says the region is already saturated.

Other points to know, courtesy of Chief Deputy Dale Ward of the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office:

  • Cutler Dam will be increasing their release of water to maintain the reservoir to proper levels. Peak release is estimated to be Sunday/Monday and could be as much as 9000 CFS. Anyone having livestock anywhere downstream along the Bear River are urged to monitor water levels very closely and be prepared to move the animals to higher ground. Cutler Dam personnel report that the release is presently at 6500 CFS and due to the amount of water entering the reservoir they estimate that the peak release could be as much as 9000 CFS on Sunday.

 

  • 3:00 pm Box Elder Sheriff has just been notified that the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is being closed.

 

  • Elwood City reports some sluffing of hillsides at Peterson Park. There has been some water running across 4400 West in this area and causing some sluffing of the road shoulder. Road is not compromised at this time but is being monitored closely.

 

  • Naf Road is open to high profile vehicles only. There is water crossing in several areas and Highway personnel have shored up the areas with rock but they are still beginning to wash out.

 

  • Reports are coming in that water is beginning to run over 25600 North in Snowville.