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Sugar House Park pond overflows, but officials say it's doing what it's intended to do

Posted at 7:56 PM, Apr 15, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City had to be closed to vehicles Saturday evening as water levels in the pond continued to rise, overtaking the road.

Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation and Salt Lake City Public Utilities issued the closure around 7:30 p.m. Earlier in the day, they shared photos showing the pond's water level breaching the edge of the pond.

The road was reopened Sunday.

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Parleys Creek feeds directly into the park's pond.

"Sugar House Park is working as intended for flood control... the water levels are growing: that’s on purpose because the park acts as a retention basin to protect people and property," the parks department wrote in a tweet.

READ: Workers, volunteers continue to keep flooding at bay in Salt Lake City

City and county officials also said they have been intentionally redirecting water to Sugar House Park and other "detention basins, which they say helps "mitigate and lessen the impacts of spring runoff."

Officials also warned the public to avoid the water at the park and other areas that are experiencing high water levels due to spring runoff.

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  • Turn around! Don’t drown! Don’t drive or walk through water on a trail or roadway.
  • Keep clear: Run-off water can have a strong current and is very cold—keep children and pets out of and away.
  • If someone is caught in water, reach or throw—don’t go into the water yourself. Call 911 ASAP.
  • Know your surroundings. Check the weather before you go.
  • Going outdoors? Let someone know where and when you’ll be back.

Meanwhile, volunteers and workers have been continuing to fill up sandbags to help protect public and private property. Many flocked to Sugar House Park Saturday morning and afternoon to volunteer.

FULL LIST: Where you can volunteer to fill sandbags this weekend

Then at Wasatch Hollow, the Salt Lake City Fire Department's Heavy Rescue Team cleared out a major blockage. They said a large, flat piece of metal was preventing the water flow in the water detention basin there.

"Emigration Creek is now flowing without obstruction and not on the road," the Salt Lake City Department of Utilities wrote in a tweet.

And in Gunnison, the Utah Department of Corrections organized a volunteer effort by Central Utah Correctional Facility inmates to help fill sandbags.