Flood warning in place for Provo River through Monday

Posted at 5:57 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 19:57:44-04

PROVO, Utah -- Dam operators started releasing water from Deer Creek Reservoir into Provo River Friday morning to make room for spring run off, and a flood warning is in place as a result.

"There are still a very large amount of snow in the high mountains and that all has to come off," said Steve Cain, Facilities and Lands Manager for Provo River Water Users Association.

He said they're also simulating a run-off to attract the endangered June Sucker fish from Utah Lake to spawn in the Provo River.

Over the course of the weekend, the water will run up to 1,800 cubic feet per second. Normally, it runs at less than half of that.

The spillway is open just enough to create this flow out of the Deer Creek Reservoir, which is about 97 percent full.

Park Manager Steve Bullock said that is about one foot from spilling over the reservoir. He said it is good news for boaters because it creates more surface area to explore, but it is bad news for fishermen and tubers who could get swept away.

"There's always a lot of people using the Provo River, and we just encourage recreationists to be cautious when they're approaching the river," he said.

Bullock said the air may be warm, but the water is cold; he said the high for water temperature this weekend may be only in the mid 40 degrees. He said if you plan to be near or in the water, be prepared.

"We want you to be safe," he said. "We encourage you to wear sunscreen and a life jacket. If you're in the water, make sure you have that life jacket on so you can do a self rescue. And be safe getting home.'"

A flood warning is in effect through Monday morning. Those who live downstream are encouraged to keep an eye on their basements and yards should flooding develop.