- Associated Press - Friday, April 7, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Water system managers say an above average snowpack in the Utah mountains has led several dams in northern Utah to shift into flood control mode to avoid too much water gushing downstream.

Weber Basin Water Conservancy District General Manager Tage Flint said 180 percent of normal snowpack still remains in the Monte Cristo area. The agency has released 40,000 acre-feet (over 49 million cubic meters) of water from the Pineview Dam into the Ogden River in anticipation of the snowmelt and Flint said the additional water nearly caused the river to reach flood stage.

The manager also expects the East Canyon Dam to spill during the spring runoff. It’s something that has not happened in several years, Flint said.

“That is one of the most difficult reservoirs in our system to fill. That all has to do with the size of the watershed above because it practically drains all the Park City ski resort area,” he said.

With a rain storm expected to pass through northern Utah for the next eight to 14 days, the U.S. National Weather Service has issued a flood watch. Box Elder, Cache and Weber county residents are advised to prepare for flood conditions.

In Midvale, volunteers filled thousands of sandbags on Thursday in preparation for flood.

National Weather Service Hydrologist Brian McInerney also recommends people use caution near the streams and parents keep children away during the snow melt season.

“It’s going to be really dangerous this year,” he said. “Every time we have a big flow like this, we have a lot of people die on the river . it’ so cold that you reach hypothermia in about two minutes, and the force of the water in most mountain streams is such that it’s really hard to get oriented.”

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