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September 3, 2021

A new rapid deployment U.S. Geological Survey flood warning gage has been installed in Pack Creek, 9 miles southeast of Moab, Utah, below the June 2021 wildfire burn area.

Photo of Pack Creek at Pack Creek Road Bridge river gage looking downstream Pack Creek in Utah
Photo looking downstream from the Pack Creek Road Bridge shows the rain gage on top with a USGS sticker. Below is a solar panel for power. The other white round object contains the data logger and satellite antenna. The station is wired to a radar stage sensor that is mounted to the downstream side of the bridge. During a flood on August 2, this bridge became plugged with debris and the water flowed over the top of the road.

The Pack Creek Road Bridge gage, installed on August 17, 2021, records the Pack Creek river stage and precipitation every five minutes, and transmits data every 15 minutes.

The gage will provide valuable information for monitoring conditions in the burned area of the Pack Creek Fire, which originated June 9, 2021, 14 miles southeast of Moab, and burned 8,952 acres. The subsequent loss of vegetation in the area places increased risk of rapid runoff and flooding from future precipitation events.

Currently, the gage is temporary through November as partners are being sought for a permanent station. If that occurs, the gage will also be used for baseflow monitoring to measure water draining into the local Valley Fill aquifer. 

Measuring streamflow at this location is vital in helping USGS scientists and partnering agencies better understand river conditions, flooding potential, and potential recharge to the Valley Fill aquifer.

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