Evacuations Ordered In Salt Lake City Due To Flooding

SLATE KEY CITY — Although the weather may not be ideal for tourism, the drop in temperatures has brought some positive news regarding Thursday’s local flooding in Utah.

A voluntary evacuation order along Emigration Creek in Salt Lake City was withdrawn as a result of slower flow caused by colder weather in other areas of the state.

In a conference this afternoon, Mayor Erin Mendenhall made the announcement and added that while volunteers won’t be required to fill sandbags on Thursday night, there would be possibilities on Saturday morning.

The report comes hours after Salt Lake County, Utah, issued a State of Emergency due to severe flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday brought on by rapidly melting snow.

Crews were able to move in and contain the water after the Emigration Creek’s volumes decreased.

Evacuations Ordered In Salt Lake City Due To Flooding

Mendenhall expressed her appreciation for the partners and flood control teams who, in her words, sprang into action Wednesday night to preserve houses.

“This scenario could have easily caused heavy damage to 100 homes had we not been prepared,” Mendenhall wrote in a tweet. “We were able to divert the water and prevent dozens of homes from seeing extensive damage.”

Mayor of Salt Lake County Jenny Wilson announced a state of emergency, stating that emergency response has been ongoing “round-the-clock” due to flooding at Emigration Creek late on Tuesday evening in Salt Lake City.

As a result of the declaration, the county is able to mobilize resources to deal with the flooding, including
“emergency response teams, increasing staffing levels, and utilizing specialized equipment to protect the residents and property of the county,”
officials explained in a release.

With the emergency declaration, Salt Lake County will also have access to state and federal resources to lessen the effects of flooding.

The declaration is effective immediately and is in force for the following 30 days. The Salt Lake County Council may extend the order if additional assistance is required after the declaration’s scheduled expiration date.

Water from the floods rushed onto streets and walkways, creating hazardous conditions and damaging parts of the city.

Mendenhall said that on Thursday morning, a sidewalk and sewage line on 1500 East were affected by the water flow, and cops were attempting to keep the area secure while workers examined the damage.

To prevent flooding in homes, hundreds of volunteers labored Wednesday night filling and putting sandbags along the creek bed.

Additionally, voluntary evacuation orders were issued for more than 20 residences because of the risk of flooding.

Between 10 p.m. and midnight on Wednesday, peak flows were anticipated, and as temperatures dropped, water levels began to drop by early Thursday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures will be close to seasonal averages in southern Utah and below average in northern Utah, “hopefully diminishing snowmelt enough to help with flooding concerns for now.”

Due to an excess of water in Emigration Creek, roads on 1700 South were shut down between 1500 East and 1700 East.

Due to the floods on Wednesday night, Salt Lake City Fire had to evacuate roughly 35 homes at 1700 S between 1500 E and 1700 E.

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Red Cross of Utah employees and volunteers opened an evacuation shelter at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2215 E. Roosevelt Ave., at the request of Salt Lake City emergency management.

Wednesday morning, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said that three homes had basements or garages affected by water.

The flooding was caused by the neighboring Emigration Creek overflowing and Wasatch Hollow Park’s storm grates being blocked, according to Public Utilities Director Laura Briefer, who was in the flooded area Wednesday morning with Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

During the “some time” that officials will be working to reduce the flooding and redirect water, Wasatch Hollow Park will be closed.

Along with the floods, Briefer mentioned reports of a landslide that occurred overnight in Salt Lake City’s Pinecrest neighborhood and “a lot of water” in Rotary Park.

Crews are working around the clock to manage water away from communities, according to Mendenhall and Briefer.

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