Add South Weber residents to the list of Davis County homeowners being victimized by El Nino.
South Weber officials said Tuesday they are watching two unstable hillsides that have experienced some slippage this spring and are hoping the ground there continues to dry out."We have a couple of slopes that are unruly," South Weber Councilman Jack Frost, the city spokesman, said.
The eastern slide is threatening the backyards of six homes in the Cedar Bench subdivision. The western slide is smaller and located in an agricultural area, though it could block the Weber/Davis canal in a worst case scenario.
"The slippage is 15 to 20 feet away from the yards now," Frost said of the eastern slide.
South Weber's problems are similar to those being experienced by their neighbors to the south, in Layton's Heather Glen subdivision.
A rain-soaked hillside has left fissures in several yards and forced one family to move out of their shifting and cracking home.
There's nothing new on that situation, though the recent dry weather has lessened the dangers there, a Layton worker said Tuesday.
In South Weber, residents noticed the hillside moving in early April, but there has been no movement since April 15. There has also been no damage to homes, but residents are wary of all the fissures they can see on the hillside.
"It concerns us and them," Frost said, explaining state geologists have examined the area and will be submitting a report of recommendations to the city in about two weeks.
All of the homes threatened are new and several don't even have their backyards completed yet.
"Mother Nature controls the whole deal," Frost said, explaining more wet weather to the area would be the biggest danger to getting the hillside moving again.
Brian Law, emergency response coordinator for the Davis County Sheriff's Department, planned to visit the area Tuesday but said he believes there is minimal danger on the hillside.
"If it were to rain hard, it might cause some movement," he said. But Law said he believes the worst that would happen is some homeowners would get mud in their yards.
The South Weber Irrigation Co. owns and operates a water reservoir at the top of the hill. Frost said it's been consulted because even though that pond has been there 25 years, officials want to look at its design plans to determine its design strength.
Wasatch Energy Systems, operator of the Davis County burn plant and landfill, owns all of the other surrounding land at the top of the hill.
District executive director LeGrand Bitter said the district purchased the land as a buffer for the landfill about two years ago to ensure no homes were built too close.
Bitter said the district hasn't worked the ground of the hillside and is simply a concerned neighbor regarding the slide.
Frost said the irrigation pond is an island on Davis County land and so the city has involved the county in their conversations.
The councilman said he believes only some drastic and expensive landscaping work may solve a lot of the slippage problems in the long-run.
Regarding the second slide to the west, Frost said it is located on a much more gentle slope. No homes are threatened directly, but if a slide blocked the canal, some homes farther down the way would be flooded.
Relief fund set up to aid residents
A relief fund has been established to assist residents who have been affected by a sliding hillside on Sunset Drive in Layton.
Homeowner insurance will not cover the properties or the relocating expenses of residents so Era Webber Real Estate has set up a Sunset Drive Homeowners Relief Fund.
To pledge or donate, call Karen at 774-6500.