Did you know State Street once turned into a mighty river?

Wirth

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)- Memorial Day 2020 no doubt will be different than any other Memorial Day as the COVID-19 pandemic forces Americans to honor the fallen with smaller, socially distanced crowds.

It’s sure to be a Memorial Day that will go down in history books, much like the Memorial Day 1983 in Salt Lake City.

People talk about the flood of 1983 pretty much every spring when the snow melts.

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We had record amounts of snow in the winter of 1982-83–700 inches at Parleys Summit – verses a norm of about 300 inches.

On top of that we were hit with 90 degree weather the last week of May.

The result? Lots of water.

At first, they thought they could hold it in Parleys Canyon… it didn’t work

The water came and manholes became geysers. It came down gushing down 13th south out of Parleys Canyon and through Memory Grove, forming a new channel. 

Much like today, people showed up when they were needed most.

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Instead of jumping in with donations and making masks, like we’ve seen this year, they stuffed sandbags and formed human chains to put the bags in place down State Street.

The even came together and built bridges in one day to go over the mighty State Street River. Like any good river, it became a destination tourist site. 

Just short of 2 weeks later, it was gone. The city picked up its million soggy sand bags and tore out the $30,000 bridges, hosed down the street, and life went back to normal.

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