Shaky Ground? North Salt Lake Hillside Is On The Move Again


NORTH SALT LAKE (ABC4 Utah News) -Two and a half years after a landslide destroyed a home and heavily damaged a nearby tennis club, some Eaglepointe subdivision residents are worried they are once again on shaky ground.

The August 5th, 2014 slide demolished the Utrilla family’s two story house and caused part of a retaining wall at Eagleridge Tennis and Swim Club to collapse, sending mud and rocks onto a tennis court.

That time the culprit was heavy rain. This time it’s the snow we got in December that melted during a couple of 50 degree days January 8th and 9th.

“We are assuming during that time that’s when we had a lot more movement at the toe of the slide causing it to move about 54 inches,” Ben Erickson of the Utah Geological Survey told ABC4 Utah News Tuesday.

Erickson is a Geologic Hazard Mapper with the U.G.S. Transmitters on rods driven into the hill allow him to track movement with Global Positioning Satellite. While the slide is not visible under the snow, he pointed out a few distinct features.

“With the latest failure we’re seeing some pipes being pushed out of the ground,” Erickson said.

Terry didn’t want to give his last name but says he owns a home near the slide on Parkway Drive.

“I don’t know if I feel you know more upset or more frustrated as in you know what’s the answer to it?” he asked. “There’s gotta be an answer somewhere from someone…Is there one more big move coming off the mountain?”

Erickson says nothing points to an imminent landslide now but some residents are still extremely nervous.

“Right now I just called my wife and I said  “Hey guess what?’ News crews at the bottom of the hill,” Terry said. “Her first question was ‘Do we need to pack bags?’ Cause the last time you guys were up here was get bags and get out of the house so part of us is we’re ready to evacuate if we need to.”

Although there’s no sign of an imminent landslide, the neighbors are anxiously watching the weather because most movement occurs in the Spring. A rapid warm up or heavy rain will add a lot more ground water to this already saturated hillside.

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