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Residents call for change after Murray canal break

By Andrew Wittenberg | Posted - Apr 30th, 2013 @ 10:46pm

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MURRAY — A regularly scheduled City Council meeting in Murray was anything but ordinary Tuesday night, as residents filled City Hall to voice their opinions about the canal break that caused major damage over the weekend.

Residents are urging the city to help push forward some tougher restrictions on canal companies statewide. The unified message Tuesday night was that they never want something like that to happen again.

Connie Moye, along with dozens of other neighbors, went to City Hall Tuesday night, where they listened to a representative from the North Jordan Irrigation Company talk about having sufficient insurance and warnings the company gave about the canal's stability.

"The letter was addressed to all of the owners of the property explaining that we have a concern that you have a canal in your backyard," said Boyd Semper with the North Jordan Irrigation Company.

What Moye and everyone else at the meeting wanted, though, was for someone to listen.

"I sat on my front porch and watched the water rush down my street and come up to my garage, and threaten my home again," Moye said. "I don't need a houseboat on Lake Powell; I have one in Murray — it's concrete, red brick and gray stucco."


Steve Linge, another Murray resident, said the canal break has affected his children, as well.

"My children returned home today, and they're been having really bad dreams of getting swept away in rivers and water," he said.

The damage from Saturday's canal break is extensive: it will cost the operating company millions in repairs. But now residents are hoping to look forward, urging city and state officials to create a canal safety and management task force. The goal is to beef up laws for residents who live close to canals.

"It doesn't matter who's caused the problem, or what caused the problem," Linge said. "What matters is what we as a community will do together to make it right."

A number of people also made reference to the fatal canal break in Logan in 2009 in which a mother and two children were killed.


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