River restoration project easing flood concerns

<span class=”s1″>Recent warming temperatures combined with Northern Utah snowpack have raised the concern of rapid snowmelt resulting in flooding. But continuing work on the Cache River Restoration Project appears to be easing such worries.</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Much of the work has been centered on the confluence of the Logan and Blacksmith Fork Rivers, according to Cache County Director of Development Services, Josh Runhaar. </span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>“Among the objectives were to remove a lot of the debris built up in the channels. We had a lot of downed vegetation and sediment bars. We’re trying to protect a lot of banks and stabilize those that have been affected in past year floods.</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>“We are just trying to reduce the load of debris in the river which is really decreasing capacity and it’s impacting bridges and culverts.”</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Runhaar said that potentially makes the flood situation much worse than it should be, if it is not addressed.</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Targeted completion date for the project was June of this year.</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>“We have just put in for another extension. We have another couple of pieces of the project that are going to take longer. We hope to be finished by the end of this calendar year.”</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Runhaar said starting irrigation diversion a couple of weeks ago has slowed the flow of both of the rivers.</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>“For Blacksmith Fork especially that is true. When the irrigation turned on the water level dropped 12 to 16 inches almost immediately.”</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>The river restoration project also involves work on the Little Bear River in the southern end of the valley.</span>

<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>“We’ve got a landslide down on South Canyon Road, south of Paradise, and another one on a tributary to that river which is on Mt. Pisgah Road. That is just west of Paradise. Both of those landslides are impacting roadways that we’re having to build bank stabilization back to maintain those roads and keep the river from eating them.”

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