Mudslide Damages Home, Forces Evacuations
April 10th, 2006 @ 7:23am
Gene Kennedy Reporting

A South Weber neighborhood was forced to evacuate after a major mudslide. The slide hit arround 9:30 last night, forcing 20 families to evacuate.

Deeann Lowry, Kaiser's Neighbor: "It sounded like a big wind storm and it startled us, so we got out. We saw neighbors running around and looked out the back and saw the fence was all broke and their were rocks."

Mud and debris slid down a 500-foot hill late last night. It went through the Davis-Weber canal then crashed into the back of a home. The impact was so violent that cars in the garage were shoved right through the garage doors and the home was moved off the foundation.

The Kaiser family lives there along with their four-year-old daughter. The little girl suffered a cut to the forehead and a broken leg after falling debris hit her.

Neighbors say their hearts go out to them.

Angie Beebe, Neighbor: "I just hope that everybody's okay at the Kaiser home. I just really feel bad for the little girl."

Angie Beebe thought the mud was heading for her home next.

She and her husband heard what sounded like an earthquake. They put their shoes on and got out fast.

Cathy Bell, Evacuated Resident: "We listened to the water just rush down the hill after the first mud hit. We couldn't figure out where it was going, where it was coming from."

Dan Bell, Evacuated Resident: "Our house shook pretty good, and we look out and saw the Kaiser's house next door."

South Weber's Mayor says the home is a total loss.

Dan Bell, Evacuated Resident: "As long as the mountain is stable, I hope we come back."

Until the Bell family knows for certain, they are in the same position as 18 other families who live the new subdivision. It's "pack what you can and leave."

Dan Bell, Evacuated Resident: "We are taking a couple of days in case they don't let us back in."

Meanwhile, state geologists and engineers are inspecting the hillside. They want to know how stable it is, as well as what caused the slide.

The Mayor has an idea.

Joe Gertge, Mayor of South Weber: "I know there are some retention ponds up there. There has been a lot of rain so we will have to wait and see what it brings."

Engineers are certain the pond is to blame for the slide, but they do not know what is causing the pond to fill. In the short term they are going to drain the pond.

There is a meeting planned for Tuesday for the homeowners in the area at 9:30 in the morning. At that point, they will reassess the situation, and determine if and when the homeowners can move back in.