From Droughts To Floods: That’s Life In Southern Utah
Washington County commissioner Victor Iverson is a lifetime resident of Southern Utah -- born in St. George and raised in LaVerkin and Hurricane.
And as such, Iverson has seen it all here in Washington County. He has a saying that is incredibly appropriate on a day like today.
"In this country, it's either drought or flood, and sometimes in the same year."
This past month has been a perfect example of that. Entering March after a crippling drought that saw leaders all over the West worried about growth, runoff and where the next glass of water may come from (figuratively speaking), we have had an unprecedented month of rain, snow (in higher elevations) and soggy days.
And it's not over.
"We've been praying for rain and it's a beautiful blessing," Iverson said. "But now we're approaching historic water amounts out there and it still seems to be coming."
Iverson named certain areas of Washington County that may have cause for concern, including Brookside, Central and other areas near the Santa Clara River.
"I urge all homeowners, especially in those areas near (creeks and rivers), to take this very seriously," he said.
Iverson mentioned that it's best to stay out of areas that are flood-prone until the normally sunshiny weather returns.
He said there are really two big concerns. Of course the rain has caused an immediate concern and residents should be aware of the immediate threat of flooding. But perhaps a bigger concern is the amount of snowpack in the mountains above us.
"For the first time in a number of years we're seeing reservoirs like Gunlock and Enterprise full," he said. "Unfortunately, we haven't even started what's called 'runoff' yet. We're still collecting water in our higher elevations and yet we're full in all of our reservoirs.
"We are concerned about when all this water comes down. Luckily, we've been blessed with cooler weather (so far), but as we approach summer, it's going to be nerve-wracking."
Iverson cited several charts showing we are approaching the largest snowpack EVER for Washington County.
"It's the nature of living in this country," he said. "We go in cycles and right now, we know what cycle we're in."
Iverson said sandbags and emergency services (click to learn more) are available countywide, for those who may need help in the coming days and week. You can also call 435-301-7360.
He also said Washington County is known for neighbors and friends who are always willing to help, if the need arises.