Rain increases speed of North Salt Lake landslide

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NORTH SALT LAKE -- Utahns have been dealing with this storm for two days straight now, and it doesn't look like it's about to stop. Rainfall amounts have been enough to trigger landslides.

In North Salt Lake, Utah geologists are especially concerned about this storm's effects on the gradual landslide in the Springhill neighborhood.

"My husband had this tiny bucket, and I said, ‘Oh, we have bigger buckets than that," resident Dauneen Abel said.

Rainwater coming through the roof is just another issue Abel has to deal with. "With the shifting of the house, it changes everything, even the roof, she said.

Abel lives in the Springhill neighborhood we've told you about before. Her house is literally falling apart because of the land sliding right underneath her.

Utah geologists say the land is moving at a rate of 50 inches per year and it could get more aggressive with all the precipitation in the last few days.

"A storm like this could cause a sudden increase in the groundwater levels, and that could cause a sudden increase in the rate of movement," explained Francis Ashland, with the Utah Geological Survey.

The Utah Geological Survey has kept a close eye on the North Salt Lake area. They even send out e-mails to residents and city officials warning people to be cautious during storms.

Cracks in the walls, shifting concrete and a caving-in rooms; they're all things Abel and her neighbors have to worry about day-to-day. "Every day something new appears or reappears, so the rain makes a lot of difference. It really does," she said.

Ashland says geologists were planning on visiting this neighborhood either later Wednesday or early Thursday to take measurements.

E-mail: ngonzales@ksl.com

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Nicole Gonzales


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