A look back at Thistle Slide, the mudslide that destroyed a whole town

Wirth

SPANISH FORK CANYON, (News4Utah)- In April of 1983 the entire town of Thistle, Utah was swallowed by mud.

The landslide dammed the Spanish Fork River and created Thistle lake. Soon the entire town of Thistle drowned and Utah was declaring its first Presidential disaster.

Two major highways were closed and railroad services were re-routed as efforts to control the slide took place.

As former Governor Matheson put it, “This [was] a hell of a way to run a desert.”

At time, the U.S. Geological survey wrote Thistle Slide was the most expensive slide in the country. 

Craig Wirth takes us back in this week’s Wirth Watching

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