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Officials warn public to stay away from Provo River this summer

Posted at 9:19 PM, Jun 20, 2024

PROVO, Utah — The Provo River is flowing at dangerously cold and fast speeds.

According to Provo Fire Department Captain Jeanie Atherton, officials have been putting up signs and caution tape to remind people to stay away from the water until later in the summer.

"We want people to just be aware that they need to stay away from it,” said Atherton. "This season is a little higher than normal, we had a big winter last year, we didn’t have a lot of our water levels drop last year, we had full reservoirs this year going into the spring runoff season, so this is kind of an atypical year.”

Provo Fire also advised anyone who sees someone fall into the river to call 911 instead of jumping in after them.

"What we recommend right now is if you are going to recreate at an area that’s by the river, stay at least 40 feet away from that river, so there’s no reason to go near it, it can easily sweep someone away,” added Atherton.

"I like to come out here a lot. I love walking by the river, it’s really pretty,” said Emma Buer, who visits the Provo River Parkway with her family, and walks along the trail. "It’s definitely been really fast this year, which is crazy, I hope people realize how fast its going, and just avoid it because you hear stories about people and its scary. And yeah, avoid getting in the water, be safe, make good choices."

Ridley Layton rides her bike almost every day along the river.

"I love it, it’s so pretty, it’s the best. I think it’s so fun to just like hear the water, I like it a lot,” said Layton. "It’s not the smartest thing to do to try and get in, because it’s going so fast. So I’d just say be really careful and cautious,” added Layton.

She hopes that people who come from a different part of the state, or even from out of state, understand the dangers of the river at this speed.