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Mudslides force closure of 4 roads; flooding is possible

Published May 22, 2011 5:31 pm

Weather • Rain is expected to continue Monday and Tuesday.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Higher temperatures and severe thunderstorms contributed to at least four reported mud slides across Utah during the weekend. Flood watches and warnings also remain in effect for many areas along the Wasatch Front through the middle of the week.

A flood warning is in effect for the south fork of the Ogden River until noon Wednesday, and a flood watch is in effect for many areas along the northern Wasatch Front until Tuesday afternoon. Flood-watch areas include Cache Valley and Wasatch Mountain valleys north of Interstate 80.

The roadway in Farmington Canyon will be closed for at least two days because of a rockslide that blocked it Sunday afternoon. The slide, including large boulders and debris, covered the road a few miles into the canyon, the Davis County Sheriff's Office reported. The slide may be due to "oversaturated soil," said Davis County Emergency Manager Ellis Bruch.

Public Works crews will remove the debris when the area becomes stable, which may not be for at least two days. No homes were affected and no injuries were reported from the slide.

Also Sunday, Utah Department of Transportation personnel were dispatched to a minor mudslide on State Road 199 west of Tooele Valley. The mud stopped before hitting the road, but rocks and other debris rolled onto it.

In Beaver County, State Road 153 entering Beaver Canyon in southern Utah was closed indefinitely after a mudslide covered the road. Crews tried to clear the debris but were unsuccessful.

Santaquin Canyon will also remain closed indefinitely because of a Saturday mudslide that blocked the road. Authorities were unable to assess the stability of the mud as of Sunday evening and will be re-evaluating conditions on Monday, said Utah County sheriff's spokesman Spencer Cannon.

"It's a thick, soupy mess," Cannon said.

The slide was about 100 yards long and 3 to 4 feet deep. No injuries were reported, but one vehicle sustained minor damage from rocks, Cannon said.

Wet weather is expected to continue Monday and Tuesday before clearing up Wednesday, with sunny weather and highs near 70 degrees.


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