Sugar House Park reopens to vehicles; Emigration Creek is expected to be flooded next

According to a spokesman, the park could be closed again due to snow cover and flood protection measures.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Pat Shea, left, and his goddaughters Inara Bennett and Katie Bennett join hundreds of other volunteers to fill sandbags at Sugar House Park, April 15, 2023, to help prevent flooding in Salt Lake City to mitigate. The volunteers were able to take 10 sandbags home for their work.

The road in Sugar House Park has reopened to vehicles after being closed about 7:30 a.m. Saturday night due to its flooded pond, according to an announcement from Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation.

As the water recedes, the department plans to “re-evaluate” access to the park and “keep it open in a modified manner, as far as safety permits,” the announcement said. But the park could be closed again.

“The temporary closure of vehicular traffic is likely something we’ll see again and again due to snow cover and planned flood defenses,” Liz Sollis, a department spokeswoman, said via email.

The department is working with Salt Lake City Public Utilities and Salt Lake County Flood Control to divert water in the valley to retention basins such as Sugar House Park.

“Retention ponds are part of long-standing plans to mitigate and reduce the effects of spring runoff,” said a press release on Saturday.

The water flowing across the road in the park was due to the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities’ controlled release of water from the Mountain Dell Reservoir to make way for the runoff from Parleys Creek, Parks and Recreation said.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for Emigration Creek Sunday morning, saying warm temperatures on Sunday and Monday and rain or snow on Tuesday will melt snowpack and cause rivers to rise. A “flood phase” of Emigration Creek is possible Monday night through Tuesday morning and Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, the advisory said.

Justin Scaccy

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