Did you know we had a massive sinkhole in Utah? We actually have several sinkholes, and one came near it's own record, and was the coldest place in the USA.

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(Examples of Sinkholes)

Peter Sinks is a natural sink hole in the Bear River Mountains, Utah. It is in the northern most part of the state east of Logan, Utah, right near the Utah/Idaho border. I has an upper bowl and a lower bowl and is approximately 2 miles long and a half mile wide. In 1985 Peter Sinks was recorded to have a temperature of −69.3 °F

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Usually near the top 5 coldest locations in the USA, Peter Sinks was the coldest spot in the Nation after the arctic air that moved into the state in Jan 2023. On January 30th, Peter Sinks was even colder than the coldest places in Alaska, Coming in at a whopping -62 degrees!

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Middle Sink is just 2.5 miles away and the 2 sinkholes are know as "The Sinks," and are usually only a few degrees different in temperature.

Peter Sinks is located 8,100 feet above sea level in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. With no outlet to let cold water or cold air inversions out, it stays freezing pretty much all year. Even in the Summer there is rarely a week where temperatures are not below freezing which means not even trees can grow at the bottom.

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There have been recorded sinkholes all over Utah. Southern Utah is no stranger to sinkholes either. In fact, some of the sinkholes in southern Utah have actually swallowed rivers!

1985 was quite the year, Peter Sink in northern Utah, hit -69 degrees and 2 miles of the Virgin River, in southern Utah, got swallowed up by a sinkhole for 2+ months.  La Verkin Creek got sucked into a sinkhole in 1996. In 2020, 2 sinkholes appeared in the St George, Utah, Ramada Inn parking lot and another one on Foremaster Drive that was 15 ft. long and 5 ft. wide.

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In 2022, there was a water main break that caused a sinkhole in St. George, Utah, that partially swallowed a car. Sinkholes are scary and mysterious and there doesn't seem to be a way to know they are coming. When they happen we all just stare in amazement.

So what do we do about sinkholes? It seems that we just wait till they happen, assess and fill them in. In the case of the sinkholes near the Virgin River and La Verkin Creek, they just used bulldozers to fill them in with dirt. Crazy stuff.

Ultimately, Mother Nature is in charge and we just do the best we can with the little knowledge we have.

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After Utah's record January 2023 rainfall, could we be in for some sinkholes?

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