River banks dangerous as Utah rivers swell from rain, spring runoff

OGDEN, Utah — Recent spring storms have rivers running high in northern Utah.

People are being warned to stay back and stay safe.

“You could tell [the Weber River] was coming up. Today, it’s up even more,” said Bill Hartshore.

Nearly every day, Hartshore eats lunch on the banks of the Weber River nearly every day in Ogden.

“If you come down and you watch the river, you can tell if it’s going to flood or not flood. This year is going to be kind of different with a combination with the rain and all the snow in the mountains.”

The river is running four times higher than it was before several days of rainy weather.

“That catches our attention,” Weber County Emergency Manager Lance Peterson said.

The Ogden River is also running high, as Pineview Dam releases water ahead of the snowmelt.

“This is a huge storm today, it may push the river graphs up a little bit,” Peterson said.

While the rivers aren’t at flood stage yet, Peterson said they’re still dangerous.

“It’s moving fast and it’s really cold. You put your hand in there. Within a few seconds your hand will start to hurt.”

The river levels will continue to grow if the wet weather pattern continues to drop rain in the valleys and snow in the mountains.

“We are just kinda knocking on wood that we will start drying out here pretty soon,” Peterson said.

Avalanche danger is also extremely high in the Weber County mountains above 7,000 feet above sea level.

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