Forgotten Utah town submerged underwater reappears amid drought

Forgotten Utah town submerged underwater reappears amid drought
Receding water has exposed roads and buildings once used by residents

A town that was plunged underwater during a dam project has resurfaced after more than 60 years.

The town of Rockport, in Utah, vanished entirely in 1957 – five years after the White House green-lit the construction of the Wanship Dam, which created Rockport Reservoir.

No more than 200 residents ever lived in the area before it was abandoned entirely, despite it being settled in as early as 1860, according to Utah State Parks.

Just 27 families are thought to have lived in the little town, located in a narrow part of Weber Valley at the mouth of Three Mile Canyon, at the time the US government went ahead with plans to drown them out.

However, drought conditions, which caused the water to recede to 26 per cent capacity in recent weeks, revealed the foundations of Rockport for the first time in 64 years.

Drone test pilot Devon Dewey, who travelled to the site, recently shared striking drone images of the roads and house remnants that could be seen.

“It was really interesting to be standing at an overlook for the reservoir and to see faint traces of foundations of old homes and a road all below where the water would normally be,” he told KSL News.

Mr Dewey added the remnants of the former town are clearer from an aerial point of view.

“The whole area is pretty flat and uniform, so even though the foundations are old and mostly gone, you can still see them clearly if you know where to look,” he said.

“Using a drone to get a higher perspective helped to see where structures once stood.”

Rockport residents at the time protested against the reservoir’s development but the White House went ahead and purchased the valley, before submerging the whole community.

Some of the buildings were removed so that they could be preserved for history.

They were taken to Pioneer Village at Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington.

Following this year’s drought, the reservoir’s boat ramp was closed for the summer. Only small boats and personal watercraft are being allowed on the water, though officials have advised people to do so “at your own risk”.

Officials have said those interested in seeing the site should be cautious and use drones if they want to see the remnants of the “ghost town”.

Despite the fact that water levels have declined, the ground may be muddy from years of being underwater – making it less stable, they said.