Sunday, January 01, 2006

Snowslide, Utah County, Utah

originally uploaded by annetics.
My dad and I drove down to Ephraim today to pick up my grandparents. On our way home, we passed by the old Thistle mudslide from 1983. This slide created a dam which caused the flooding of the town of Thistle under 50 feet of water, more or less. Homes, roads and the railroad tracks were all damaged. Here it is on January 1, 2006, covered in snow. The tracks have been moved to higher ground, but the homes have not been rebuilt. Rooftops covering mud-buried homes are still visible in some places.

1 comment:

Bruce Findlay said...

It's just too tempting that no one has posted a comment. The picture shows the hillside from which the slide poured down northward into the valley. An engineering study was done to see if the dam could be used like the one at Hebgen Lake in yellowstone, but the study showed that it would liquefy in an earthquake and release the water behind it down the canyon, thus posing danger to Spanish Fork and Springville, so the county opened the tunnel that was installed in the slide and allowed the water to drain away. Many of the landowners have not rebuilt. Another reason for not maintaining the dam was that as long as the lake was a natural catastrophe the county would not have to compensate landowners, but if they improved the dam and made it into something that was developed for public purposes the county would have to compensate the landowners for loss of their land.