This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
North Salt Lake • Insurance companies have given no help to some North Salt Lake residents whose homes are being destroyed by a slow-moving landslide. Nor has the federal government. But their neighbors did on Saturday rallying with a community breakfast and fun run to raise money to help.
"I'm glad somebody somebody is helping. We need it," said Stefanie Christiansen, whose home is being torn apart slowly. She, like many of her neighbors on Springhill Circle and Springhill Drive, were among the volunteer cooks and servers Saturday during the breakfast at Foxboro Regional Park.
As she was helping serve hot pancakes to neighbors paying $5 each, she said, "We really appreciate what people are doing for us. It means a lot."
She said she and her husband bought their house on Springhill Drive in the foothills 15 years ago.
"Then in 1998, we had some movement from the landslide. Then it was fine for a lot of years," she said. But more recently, it started moving again about an inch a year cracking foundations and walls, and tearing apart homes.
Three houses have been demolished so far, she said, and it's a matter of time for the others.
Worse during this extra-wet year, "The landslide has been moving about an inch a week," Christiansen said. The slide went from affecting 16 homes to 24. She said new springs of water appeared in the neighborhood.
"We can't sell our homes. But we're stuck with mortgages. Some are also stuck with paying to demolish their homes when they are condemned. We're trying to hold out as long as we can," she said.
"Insurance doesn't cover any of it. The federal government hasn't helped so far" with disaster assistance.
She said banks are trying to sell some homes that have been foreclosed on there at the same time the city is trying to condemn them. She said when potential buyers stop to look at those houses because of the low advertised prices, she and other neighbors walk over to tell them what they are facing.
They have placed a large sign in the circle with information about the landslide and the damage is obvious on many houses with falling walls, cracks in foundations, windows popping out of now-crooked window wells and once-straight bricks pulling apart in zigzag lines.
So stepping up to help on Saturday was the City of North Salt Lake and El Niño Foundation, which decided to make the grand opening of the city's new Foxboro park a fundraiser for the landslide victims.
Kevin Eubank, a KSL meteorologist, is president of El Niño.
"We're a very small, grass-roots nonprofit. We're trying to help relocate those who are forced to move. We try to give them small grants to use as a down payment on another home, in the range of $10,000 to $15,000."
He said the foundation has helped three families that have lost homes so far.
"With this fundraiser, we hope to raise enough to help another two," he said. The foundation and the city found enough sponsors for the breakfast and fun run so that all money paid for race registration and food will go to victims.
North Salt Lake City Councilman Stewart Harman said, "We all want to do something to help."
North Salt Lake resident Cheridee Brough, as she was eating breakfast with her husband and two children, said, "We just like to help people in need."
Her husband, Ben, added, "It's nice for the community to get together and do this. It's nice to give something back to those who need it."
North Salt Lake resident Mike Thatcher, who sat with two children as his wife was running in the race, said, "My wife's parents live up on the hill, and we've followed what has been happening to those around the landslide. I feel sorry for them. … It's good to come together and help people."
North Salt Lake resident Mary Kay Porter, also watching the race with family members, said, "We're happy to help out. What has happened to those people is awful."
About such helping hands and attitudes, Christiansen said, "They don't know how much this means to all of us. We really are grateful."
How to donate to victims
I Donations to help victims of the Springhill landslide may be made online at projectspringhill.com. The website also contains more information about the slow-moving landslide.