Canal Officials Worry Following Landslide

Canal Officials Worry Following Landslide

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SOUTH WEBER, Utah (AP) -- A landslide that destroyed a century-old barn Sunday night occurred within feet of a canal and has officials worried about how to keep the hillside from moving again.

The slide at 6:09 p.m. Sunday ripped out trees, destroyed the old barn and left tons of debris across South Weber Drive, also known as State Road 60.

The slide also cut under the road owned by Davis & Weber Counties Canal Co. that runs next to the canal.

Local and state officials met Monday to discuss the issue and plan to meet again within a few days to discuss geological findings and any options to prevent further damage.

The Utah Department of Transportation closed South Weber Drive between 200 East and 475 East, and does not plan to reopen it within the foreseeable future due to the questionable weather pattern for the next few weeks.

"We're a little nervous," said Kevin Griffin of UDOT. "We're going to keep the road closed for a while. You can have 1,000 cars go through, but it only takes one car for a tragedy."

Rich Giraud, state geologist, said he cannot say for certain what caused the landslide, which was about 75 feet wide and ran down a slope of 130 feet to the road.

The hillside has many natural springs, officials said, but they are not sure where all the water is originating. None of it is going into the canal.

The canal serves 180,000 customers in Davis and Weber counties, said Ivan Ray, general manager of the company.

He said the company considering several options to reinforce the hillside, including terracing and sloping the hillside, moving the canal back or boxing the canal so it is not exposed.

There is no immediate danger of the canal breaking, but the landslide has put pressure on the upper part of the hillside, he said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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