Gov. Herbert asks for prayers for snow, citing ‘dangerously low’ snowpacks across the state

Gov. Gary Herbert delivers his State of the State address to the Utah legislature, Salt Lake City, Jan. 24, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Fox 13 News, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Due to a dry winter that has left the state with ‘dangerously low’ snowpacks, Gov. Gary Herbert has sent a letter to faith leaders asking them and their congregations to pray for snow.

Herbert displayed the letter over social media Friday on the eve of a late-winter snowstorm forecast weekend in northern Utah.

In his letter, posted Feb. 22, Herbert recounts to faith leaders how he asked in 2012 for prayers for “providential help” in fighting fires across the state during a “bitterly hot, dry and windy summer” that turned the state into “a tinderbox.”

“And you responded with your prayers in your synagogues, your mosques, your cathedrals, your chapels, and your homes, asking that life and property by protected and that the elements be tempered,” Herbert wrote.

“Within days of your collective prayers the rains came.”

Now the state faces a similar challenge due to a winter season that that hasn’t yielded favorable snowpacks.

In some parts of the state, the snowpack is dangerously low and has been as low as 41 percent, Herbert said in a Facebook post last Friday.

Read more: Water officials: Snowpack in southwest Utah ‘below abysmal’

“Although we have just received some fresh snow, this year’s uncharacteristically warm and dry weather pattern has left the state with about half the snowpack that we might experience in a regular year,” Herbert wrote in the letter.

As of Monday, parts of northern Utah have snowpacks between 55 and 79 percent of normal, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Southern Utah’s snowpack is at 47 percent of normal, according to NRCS data. In early February the snowpack was at 37 percent.

Due to the poor snowpack, officials at the Washington County Water Conservancy District have said Washington County residents will likely be living off of reservoir storage this year.

“Because the health of our waterways, our wetlands, our agriculture, and our forests in particular depend on an abundant snowpack and because none of us can afford to witness the destruction that comes with wildfire,” Herbert wrote, “I am again reaching out to you and your faith communities with an invitation to unite in prayer.

“As you gather in your places of worship and in your homes during the first week of March, would you please join me in a special prayer? First and foremost, I believe we should thank our Creator for the extraordinary blessings what we enjoy as a state. But I also encourage us to pray that the elements be tempered on our behalf.”

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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8 Comments

  • bikeandfish March 5, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Instead of prayers, why not challenge our state government and officials to lead the way in water conservation and educating our citizens about the realities of global warming and climate change? Scientific models project massive oscillations, outside the range of historic norms, in precipitation and temperature from year to year, with climate change. The more accept that likelihood the more we can prepare and adapt.

  • mshaw March 6, 2018 at 4:40 am

    If he is asking for prayers it should be not to elect the phony Romney on the Senate ballot

  • tcrider March 6, 2018 at 7:42 am

    does Herbert also own shares in the water-park that is to be built
    in St George?

  • stg-anon March 6, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Seriously?

    He puts out a call for prayers a few days before it’s forecast to snow, and he takes credit for the weather?

    Can we tone down the crazy just a little bit please?

  • No Filter March 6, 2018 at 10:58 am

    How cute, he made his LDS donors proud today. Keep praying to your imaginary friend in the sky, maybe he will give you a unicorn too!

  • hiker75 March 6, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Geez, if you are going to pray for rain/snow please pray we do not get it all at once. We do not need flooding.

  • PlanetU March 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Pray for snow and a new governor…..

  • Wolverine March 7, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Uhh Yeah, because prayer works every time. smh

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