SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Sugar House Park has been temporarily closed to vehicles due to rising water levels, according to Salt Lake City Parks and Recreation. However, officials say this is exactly what was planned.

While the park, which has a large pond on the western side, may appear to be the newest victim of flooding, officials say the rising water levels are a good thing.

Sugar House Park “acts as a detention basin to protect people and property,” according to the department’s social media. This means the rise in water levels is the result of the intentional redirecting of water to the pond. Officials say this is done to best protect people and property in other nearby areas from damaging floods.

The department said the park “is working as intended for flood control” and officials are closely monitoring water levels “to keep guests safe.”

Earlier today, volunteers and officials gathered in the park to fill 15,000 sandbags in preparation for flooding in Salt Lake County. The volunteers worked until 5 p.m., and the park closed to traffic around 7 p.m.

While visitors are still able to access the park by foot, officials are warning the public to stay away from the water as it is likely “swift and cold.”

In order to stay safe as the snow melts, Parks and Recreation officials have provided these additional tips:

  1. Don’t walk or drive through water on trails or roadways, instead remember the phrase, “Turn around, don’t drown!”
  2. Keep children and pets away from run-off water as it can have a strong current.
  3. If someone is in the water, do not get in the water to rescue them. Instead, call 911 immediately and reach for them or throw something to help if possible.
  4. Stay updated on the weather before going outside.
  5. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.