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Farmington says residents should not sleep in basements due to mudslide danger

By Andrew Adams | Posted - May 20, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.


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FARMINGTON -- Concerns in Farmington aren't only about flooding. Mudslide potential is there and it's prompting what sounds like an unusual warning from the city.

Farminton officials said that if you're close to a creek or a stream, nobody should be sleeping in the basement the next six weeks in the event a mudslide hits in the middle of the night.


If there's a major mudslide, the water goes away, and the ground starts coming. The worst case could be a 10-foot wall of mud.

It's not that the city isn't prepared. For instance, Farmington's Woodland Park is also a debris basin designed to keep the debris away from nearby homes. But if flooding is huge and sustained, Woodland Park won't be enough.

Depending on the weather, Steed Creek could quickly overflow. If debris backs up water could exceed the banks and get into homes.

If there's a major mudslide, the water goes away, and the ground starts coming. The worst case could be a 10-foot wall of mud.

Such a mudslide would sound like a train is coming toward you. This is why no one should be in the basement.

Neighbors are certainly keeping an eye out. Kiersha Wheeler's home is next to the creek. Her kids have been sleeping in the basement, so it's time to figure out what to do now.

The city has been trying to reassure people. First, there is no imminent threat. Second, the city is much better prepared than in 1983. Debris basins now exist at all five surrounding creeks, and the creek beds have been cleared. The city just does not know how it is all going to play out.

Though Farmington may not seem to be especially close to the mountain, the city says this particular slide area is capable of sending mud all the way out to I-15.

Email: aadams@ksl.com

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