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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Tennis club hit by North Salt Lake landslide to reopen

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Wed, Aug. 13 7:25 p.m. MDT

 Workers are drilling and placing sensors into a hillside in North Salt Lake Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Homeowners have returned following last week's landslide.

Workers are drilling and placing sensors into a hillside in North Salt Lake Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Homeowners have returned following last week's landslide.

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

NORTH SALT LAKE — Lannice Eyre has been working at the Eagleridge Tennis and Swim Club since it opened about eight years ago. For her, the club provides daily opportunities to see the people she loves.

"It's a big part of the community," Eyre said. "(It's the) good friendships that are here, just a big part of my life."

The club has been closed since a landslide damaged a large tent structure covering three of the club's six tennis courts more than a week ago.

"I've thought before, 'What would I do without the club?' And then this happened," Eyre said. "I really can't do without the club. We've got to fix it."

The club gained city approval Wednesday to open its doors to patrons, according to club owner Brad Ferreira.

Patrons will be allowed to use all the facilities except the three tennis courts that were damaged, as well as the facilities on the southern end of the main building, including a lounge, a juice bar and an aerobics room, Ferreira said.

Ferreira expects the club to open this week once gas lines are inspected and found to be safe.

While a partial reopening is progress made, Ferreira and those who manage the club are still having to take it one job at a time, one day at a time.

"The hardest part is actually not knowing what to do," he said. "Today, we have some direction, but two days ago, there was no direction. We didn't know if we were ever going to open up. … It's exciting that we're going to open up and get going again."

The south tennis court tent will still have to be entirely replaced because the slide has put stress on the whole structure, rendering it unsalvageable. Club managers are considering what options exist in working with the city and EaglePointe Development to take down the tent, which will take time, Ferreira said.

"This feels like it's been going on for a month already, and it's really only been one week. So we kind of expect things to be happening in a hurry, and then you realize it only happened a week ago," he said.

The Utrilla family, who lost their home on the morning of the slide, also recently enjoyed a measure of relief. Fire officials gained access to the interior of their home Monday and salvaged many items within safe reach, according to family spokesman David Utrilla.

Utrilla said getting clothes, documents and other items from the home brought a sense of familiarity to the family in a time of uncertainty.

"They were very cheerful that some of the important things, especially those of sentimental value, they were able to recuperate," Utrilla said. "It was a wonderful day for them. Obviously, not everything has been recuperated, but it was a day to celebrate, for sure."

The family has also selected a lot where their new home will be built. Since the developer's announcement to help build the home, contractors, a lumber company and plumbers have offered their assistance, according to EaglePointe Development Vice President Scott Kjar.

Donations to the project will soon be accepted at utrillafamily.wordpress.com.

The next step is selecting a house plan and beginning construction, Utrilla said.

"The family is very excited about that," he said. "We're really looking forward to being able to have permanent placement."

City officials said several monitoring sites have been installed around the slide. Each contains a pisometer, which measures groundwater levels, and an inclinometer, which measures earth movement.

The city also plans to install the devices on the slide itself once drilling equipment is acquired, according to public works director and city engineer Paul Ottoson.

"At that time, the geotechs will start making their observations, and we're hoping the reports get out in a couple of weeks, and then they can start the remediation," Ottoson said.

Recent precipitation does not appear to have had a significant effect on the slide, he said.

"Right now, ever since the big event, the landslide itself has lost its energy," Ottoson said. "We're never going to say never, but right now we feel fairly comfortable that it will stay where it is. … We haven't noticed any more movement."

Besides the Utrillas, only one other family has not returned to their home since the slide, though evacuations have been lifted, Ottoson said.

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com, Twitter: MorganEJacobsen

Recommended
1. Gildas
LOGAN, UT,
Aug. 13, 2014

These mountain homes are built in sites that have been unwisely selected. It seems very kind of skilled folks to offer their, presumably pro bono, services, but why build again in the same treacherous place? You wonder whether anything has been learned and will the same scenario be repeated at a later date.

2. stevan madrigal
murray, UT,
Aug. 14, 2014

I hope that piezometers were installed.