SALT LAKE CITY — The Great Salt Lake is already the beneficiary of the epic snowfall totals gathered around the state this winter.

According to the Utah Department of Natural Resources, the lake has already risen two feet since its historic low set last November. Officials say the rise is a direct result of recent precipitation and inflows into the lake.

As a comparison, the Great Salt Lake barely rose a foot all of last year.

The news is a welcome relief coming before the spring runoff has even begun, although the concern of flooding persists once the snow begins to melt.

“We want a gradual melt off during the spring that will not overwhelm our rivers and streams,” said Candice Hasenyager, director of the Division of Water Resources. “The way our snowpack melts is something our division and the Utah Division of Emergency Management is monitoring closely.”

Other state departments are working to minimize flood risks at all levels.

At measuring sites across the state, new records for snow water equivalent are being set. At the beginning of March, 10 sites had already reported a record high amount of snow water equivalent, and seven others had measured the second highest levels.

Just over half of Utah's 47 reservoirs are below 55%, which the department says is nearly the same as last year but about 10% lower than normal for this time of year. Approximately half of the measured streams are also flowing below normal.

Digital Executive Producer
Jeff Tavss Jeff Tavss Digital Executive Producer SOCIAL Jeff comes to KSTU after 30+ years in the media business in Miami. After an early stint as a sports producer at WPLG, Jeff moved on to become Executive Sports Producer at WAMI-TV, an upstart hyper-local station that was known as the home of the Miami Heat and Florida Marlins. Jeff spent eight years as the Executive Sports Producer at WTVJ (NBC) in Miami, covering all the major sporting events and teams in South Florida. While with WTVJ, Jeff worked with the NBC Olympics team in China to help the network cover the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

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