Flooding in Sugarhouse
A voluntary evacuation order affected numerous homes in Sugar House as floodwaters from Emigration Creek surged into the area on Wednesday evening. The Salt Lake City Fire Department notified about 40 households situated in the vicinity of 1700 South, between 1500 East and 1700 East.
Overnight, Salt Lake City and county authorities broadened the evacuation zone to encompass residents on both sides of Glen Arbor Street, the southern side of Blaine Avenue (between 1500 East and 1600 East), and inhabitants of Downington Circle. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall explained in an early Thursday tweet that the voluntary evacuation was due to the risk of a nearby culvert drainage pipe becoming obstructed, potentially causing the creek to overflow.
Latest hydrograph from Emigration Peak. Blue line shows the observed stage & the green line shows the @nwscbrfc forecast. It seems the creek has crested and is on its way back down. Cooler temperatures with the cold front will help to decrease the threat of flooding today. #utwx pic.twitter.com/PYjblBmYGR
— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) April 13, 2023
In response to the flooding, approximately 1,000 community volunteers armed with shovels arrived to protect homes from the deluge. An evacuation shelter was established at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse, located at 2215 E. Roosevelt Avenue. Although no one was using the shelter as of Thursday morning, city leaders indicated it could be reopened if necessary.
Mayor Mendenhall expressed gratitude to neighbors, firefighters, and police officers for their swift response to the emergency. Police Chief Mike Brown commended the Salt Lake City community, stating, “We put the call out to our community, and as always, the Salt Lakers showed up.”
A flood warning for Emigration Creek persisted until early Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service reported that the creek appeared to have crested and was receding. Although cooler temperatures on Thursday were expected to reduce the risk of flooding, emergency crews warned that morning rainfall could hinder cleanup efforts.
Sgt. Melody Cutler of the Unified Police Department announced that Emigration Canyon was open but limited to residents only during the cleanup. Mayor Mendenhall tweeted a photograph illustrating the erosion caused by the flooding and urged cyclists and pedestrians to steer clear of the area while crews assessed infrastructure and sidewalks.
Authorities also requested volunteers to help fill more sandbags around 1:30 p.m., with additional locations and volunteer opportunities to be announced in due course.