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Planting Confidence for Santaquin Mudslide Victims

Planting Confidence for Santaquin Mudslide Victims

Posted - May 9, 2003 at 6:29 p.m.



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Sam Penrod Reporting...A reseeding project is underway right now in the Santaquin area ravaged by fire two summers ago, and devastating mudslides last Fall. The rehabilitation effort is comforting to residents whose homes were hit by the mudslides and, who still live in harm's way.

Crews in Santaquin right now are in the process of scattering seven thousand pounds of seed and 600 tons of straw. The goal is to hold the soil on the mountain together, in case of heavy rains.

Cathy Bradley lives just below the mountain east of Santaquin, where heavy rains last September sent a river of mud into her neighborhood. The rainstorms in recent days have her and other residents nervous.

"Cathy Bradley/Santaquin Resident: "WHEN THE CLOUDBURSTS HIT, WE STEP OUT AND WATCH AND SEE WHAT'S GOING DOWN THE GUTTER AND MAKE SURE THERE'S NOTHING COMING OFF THE MOUNTAIN."

Earlier this month, Forest Service crews began reseeding 375 acres on the mountain, an effort to prevent erosion or flooding.

A helicopter is also dropping 600 tons of straw on the area to help stabilize the soil and keep the seeds from blowing away.

Bob Gecy/Uinta National Forest: "WE'RE REALLY TRYING TO GET GROUND COVER BEFORE THE THUNDERSTORM SEASON STARTS."

Heavy rain in a short amount of time will not soak into the burnt soil and can run down the mountain.

When the four blends of seeds start growing, it will help keep the soil together.

A similar seed project last year did not work, because dry conditions gave the seed little chance to take root. But the rain this month should help the seeds start to grow.

"Bob Gecy/Uinta National Forest: "WE SHOULD SEE THAT SEED SPROUTING THIS SPRING, WE'VE HAD REALLY GOOD MOISTURE CONDITIONS"

"Bob Gecy/Uinta National Forest: "SO WE'RE HOPING WE SEE SEED GERMINATION IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND START SEEING THE MOUNTAIN GREEN BY EARLY SUMMER."

And watching the helicopter re-seed the area above their homes has residents sleeping better at night.

Cathy Bradley/Santaquin Resident: "IT'S REALLY REASSURING, WE FEEL BETTER ABOUT IT, WE'RE HOPING WE DON'T GET HIT AGAIN."

The reseeding project in Santaquin is expected to be finished by the end of the month.

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