Provo mayor’s office discusses preparations for spring run off

Provo City Public Works crews clear away debris from the edge of Provo River. By reducing the debris along the edges of the riverbed, the city will allow water to flow easily through the floodway and avoid surging up into residential and commercial housing. (Photo courtesy of the city of Provo)

As the weather warms after a record snowfall, the city of Provo is preparing in advance for the possibility of flooding from spring runoff.

In a statement released March 30, Mayor Michelle Kaufusi described the steps that the city of Provo has taken to prepare for the runoff from, what Provo City Public Works Director Dave Decker called, this year’s “unusually high snowpack.”

“While we can’t control Mother Nature, we can be prepared,” Mayor Kaufusi said. “We’ve made significant infrastructure improvements, activated our flood prevention plan, and are informing residents while providing them with necessary resources.”

Provo’s Flood Preparation Committee began meeting weekly in February to prepare for the spring runoff, and has prepared 200,000 sandbags and sand for residents to fill them with. Residents can pick up a bundle of 25 sandbags at the Provo Public Works Department building. Nicole Martin, communications director for the city of Provo, said “residents just need to bring their own shovel.”

Decker encouraged residents to take proactive steps to avoid the flooding by clearing storm drains and gutters around their home, as well as removing yard waste or garbage. Residents are also encouraged to ensure their sump pumps are functioning properly before the rain and melting begins, as well as secure low-level entryways from water entering their homes.

A lot of the water that comes down from the mountain will flow into the Provo River. Other areas under watch include Rock Canyon, Slate Canyon and Little Rock Canyon. Detention basins have been installed at Rock and Slate Canyons, and improved storm drains have been installed to help carry away potential flood waters.

Provo also has several Aquifer Storage and Recovery projects operating to drain surface water and store it in a place where it will not evaporate. These ASRs will be used to help provide Provo with water in times of future drought.

Mayor Kaufusi recorded a question and answer session with Decker, which can be viewed here. Those that have additional questions regarding the potential for flooding are encouraged to go to Provo’s Public Works Department website.

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