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With warm weather ahead, flooding in Cache Valley could last for weeks

The Logan River is rising above its banks and running through planted trees while flowing over a manmade path near downtown Logan.
Jacob Scholl
UPR | The Salt Lake Tribune
Water is flowing above the banks of the Logan River, as seen here on Monday, May 15, 2023 in Logan. Warm temperatures across northern Utah are set to cause more water melting off mountains and into nearby waterways.

High temperatures around the state have caused some waterways in northern Utah to breach their banks. In Cache Valley, water could be seen above the banks of the Little Bear River and Logan River early Monday.

Nathan Daugs, manager of the Cache Water District, said Monday that farmland and a handful of roadways in the area were underwater Monday, and it’s likely not going away anytime soon.

“I think we'll see a lot higher flows in the rivers later this week and into next week, where the temperatures are projected to get even higher," Daugs said.

The current weather forecast predicts temperatures could be into the mid-70s to low 80s by the end of the week, meaning more and more of the area’s record snowpack will soon be flowing into the valley rivers and creeks below.

Daugs said waterways like the Logan River and Blacksmith Fork River saw an increased amount of water flowing through it Sunday evening due to melting snow, and spikes in water flow will only increase with the warmer weather.

“So depending on how quick that continues to melt, you know that there's potential, you know, for those flows to go up significantly in the next couple of weeks.”

Daugs added that lower-elevation snow has largely melted off, and much of the current and future runoff will be from snow in the mid- to higher-elevations. For example, he pointed to data collected from Tony Grove Lake that indicates there’s still well over 40 inches worth of water trapped in the snowpack.

Daugs added the snowpack has been shrinking due the warmer weather, but it hasn’t necessarily been warm enough to get the water to melt down into nearby waterways.

“It's kind of just soaking it up like a sponge and now it will really start to come off with these sunny days and warmer weather," he said.

Despite the warmth, people in Cache Valley shouldn’t expect to be out of the woods in terms of flooding in the near future. Daugs said people should expect high flows for about the next month, as the Logan River’s peak likely won’t happen until early June.

Residents are encouraged to stay away from the high water, as the fast, cold water can easily sweep up those who get too close.

Reporter Jacob Scholl covers northern Utah as part of a newly-created partnership between The Salt Lake Tribune and Utah Public Radio. Scholl writes for The Tribune and appears on-air for UPR.