Flooding fears subside for now, but the mudslide blocks I-80

The flood warning will remain in effect in Salt Lake City through noon.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) People work to save a home as Emigration Creek rises in Emigration Canyon on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.

Though the water flowing through Emigration Creek has slowed significantly, Thursday morning’s voluntary evacuations remain in effect. And a mudslide temporarily shut down Interstate 80 East in Parley’s Canyon.

Emigration Creek fell below flood level overnight and is expected to continue falling through Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. After high temperatures in the 80s on Tuesday and the upper 70s on Wednesday, a cold front will sweep through Utah on Thursday, dropping temperatures into the 40s, “hopefully snowmelt will ease enough to help with flooding concerns for now,” the weather service said .

However, a flood warning remains in effect until Thursday noon because of the ongoing risk of flooding from gullies clogged with debris.

About 35 homes were voluntarily evacuated, and hundreds of volunteers filled sandbags to keep the rising water off homes.

At Emigration Canyon, staff and volunteers used hundreds of sandbags to keep floodwaters away from the iconic Ruth’s Diner. “The water was so high last night, but everything is fine at the moment,” Juan Ruebe, a chef at the restaurant, said Thursday morning. “But it’s just starting to rain, so I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

According to the National Weather Service, Thursday morning has an 80% chance of rain, possibly mixed with snow, but only a small accumulation is expected. And temperatures will remain relatively cool through the middle of next week, with highs in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Eastbound traffic on I-80 was halted early Thursday morning at Milestone 128 due to the mudslide, according to the Utah Department of Transportation. The slide spilled debris across all eastbound lanes and caused two minor accidents, the Utah Highway Patrol reported. Crews worked to clear the freeway and had two lanes reopened by 8 a.m

Flooding remained a problem at several locations along the Wasatch Front, including Ogden, Kaysville, and Kearns.

Justin Scaccy

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