SPANISH FORK, Utah (ABC4) — Spanish Fork Mayor Mike Mendenhall has issued an Emergency Declaration amid flooding in the city.

City officials reportedly expect “high and fast flows” in the Spanish Fork River starting immediately.

Officials say the local emergency is a formal step that will allow access to state funds and resources during their response efforts in the coming days and weeks.

“The runoff this week is going to test our river’s capacity,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “City crews have done a lot of work in preparing the river channel for the snow melt and volunteers have shown up in force and filled thousands of sandbags over the weekend. Issuing this emergency declaration is the next step as we start reacting to the river.”

Mendenhall says the river is constantly changing, bringing a lot of debris downstream. This reportedly heightens the concern for bridge capacity.

“If water can’t go under the bridge, we want to help get water over the bridge and away from homes and businesses,” Mendenhall states. “We also want to ensure that no new debris is added from homes and businesses along the river that could create a dam.”

All residents should stay safe by staying out of the river, keeping children and pets far from banks, and avoiding river recreation, a release states.

Spanish Fork is reportedly also looking for volunteers to help fill sandbags. Sandbag filling will take place Monday, May 1 from 2-8 p.m. and Tuesday, May 2 from 12-8 p.m. Volunteers should sign up here before going to the fairgrounds.