Tue August 5, 2014
North Salt Lake Landslide Destroys Home, Threatens More
A landslide in North Salt Lake has destroyed one home and displaced many others. The hillside above the neighborhood on Parkway Drive gave way at about 6:30 Tuesday morning.
“I heard a loud thunder sound, actually a couple of them, and ran to my front window and looked out and there were police in the street," says Melissa Plowman. "And I ran to the back of my house and looked up and basically saw a crater.”
She lives in one of the three homes that North Salt Lake City officials say are still in imminent danger. She says she and her family have lived in the home for three years. The first time they heard there was possible danger was only a few days ago.
“The developer came and knocked on my door and said we’ve got some plans to kind of fix this, what do you think? We’ll write up a little agreement and that’s all that was said," she says. "So, that’s where it’s at. We had no idea and I truly don’t think they did either.”
Barry Edwards is North Salt Lake’s City Manager. He says for now they will allow all but four families to return to their homes, but will continue to monitor the situation.
“We need to wait for this weather pattern to change, so that the ground can dry out," Edwards says. "And once the ground can dry out we can get on top of this landslide and begin remediating it, but unfortunately for right now, it’s going to be kind of a wait and see kind of activity because we’ve done everything we can with the equipment.”
This is the third landslide to occur around this area in the past decade. Edwards says he doesn’t want to talk about who is to blame at this time and is focused on preventing further damage. North Salt Lake officials have suspended further development in the area until they can prove it’s safe.
South Davis Metro Fire Chief Jeff Bassett says at this point, the biggest concern is when and if it will rain.
“We don’t want the rain to go over and down into the slide," Bassett says. "The heavy equipment up top is building a berm to try and guide that water down Parkway Drive. We don’t want any water going over the slide area.”
Utlility workers are on scene and Questar has shut off and cleared out all of the natural gas lines in the area.
City officials say they’ve had concerns about the location of the landslide since fall of last year.