Mudslides wreak havoc on Cedar Hills’ residents


    By Jenna Platt

    Mudslides in Cedar Hills have caused families to abandon their potentially condemned town homes for a motel.

    Gov. John Huntsman was on the scene surveying and consoling those affected by the mudslides. As he walked around, Gov. Huntsman stopped and conversed with many state and local officials, as well as local residents.

    ?We have been through this in Washington County during the month of January, so we are just going to have to listen to the Mayor and local officials,? Huntsman said.

    Residents in the area lined the street to see the extent of damage that could happen to their homes if the rain continues.

    Carry Nielson, from Merced, Calif., inspected the damage for her in-laws.

    ?My in-laws are looking to buy a town house on the street just below the damage,? Nielson said. ?Now they aren?t so sure.?

    With construction going on in Cedar Hills, many future residents are questioning their decision to live in the area. One resident was seen walking the streets with a ?For Sale? sign in her hand.

    With May being the wet month for Utah, there is great potential for the mudslides to persist.

    Weather forecasters predict more storms are on the way. According to it is expected to rain throughout the weekend into next week.

    Officials observing the water path from the mudslide found other possible water routes. Residents fear their only chance to preventing further damage is for the rain to stop.

    David James, a geology professor at BYU, said there will be much more rain in the next 30 to 60 days; the majority of snow pack is 35 to 60 inches deep, which will only create more damage.

    ?There are monitors placed on the hillsides along the Wasatch front to show any movement,? James said.

    Much of the land movement is caused because the ground is thoroughly saturated from all the previous rain. As the rain continues to fall it starts pooling, and the weight from all of the water causes the mudslides.

    James said the U.S. Geological Survey in January had predicted the landslides and mudslides from Cedar Hills to Provo.

    ?This is not really a surprise,? James said.

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