Snowmelt raises flood risk in Summit County
Isolated incidents reported in North Summit
After a series of powerful storms blasted the area with frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall last week, a warm weather pattern moved into the area early Monday, causing incidents of isolated flooding in parts of eastern Summit County.
“What has changed is we have gotten into a warmer southwest flow that is starting to melt the snow,” said Mike Conger, a forecaster with the National Weather Service on Monday. “It’s changed the precipitation to snow or just straight rain and when you put those two things together you get enhanced runoff and snow melt.”
On Monday, Summit County officials received reports of flooding in the eastern parts of the county. Rocky Mountain Power also reported widespread power outages, affecting more than 2,500 residents in the Snyderville Basin and on the East Side. About 500 South Summit residents were without power until late Monday evening.
As of Monday morning, Chris Crowley, Summit County’s emergency manager, said he knew of at least one home in Coalville that flooded due to rising waters behind the property. He said the Public Works Department offered free sandbags to those in areas that were prone to flooding.
“We want people to know that we have these resources available to them,” Crowley said. “It’s always a risk whenever the temperatures increase and we certainly have seen a lot of snow this year.
“Mid-season runoff happens and it’s happened before, but I think it is important that homeowners are aware of the risks in their area,” he said.
Full sandbags and empty bags were available at the Summit County Public Works Department, located at 1755 South Hoytsville Road, in Coalville.
A cold front was expected to bring cooler temperatures back to the area Monday evening for at least a couple of days, Conger said. A winter storm warning remains in effect through Wednesday evening.
“We will keep the cold temperatures for a day or so before we could go back into a rain or snow,” Conger said. “We will get a series of these fast-moving storms coming through and then we start the whole process again, which will persist through the entire work week. As we get toward the weekend, we will likely get more snow.”
For more information about flooding in the area, sign up for National Weather Service email alerts at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/slc/ or check the county website at http://www.co.summit.ut.us. To report flooding problems, call 435-336-3600.
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