Wet Weather Leads to Rock Slides Across Utah

Mar 3, 2019, 6:08 PM | Updated: 6:11 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Wet weather has led to headaches on Utah roads.

Several large rocks fell onto SR 128 near Moab Sunday morning. The slide happened about a mile outside town.

“This is a big one that’s going to take our crews several hours to clean up. They’ve had to bring out the drills and we’re going to be blasting some of the bigger rocks so we can make them into smaller rocks so we can cart them away,” said Utah Department of Transportation spokesperson John Gleason.

A tweet from Utah Highway Patrol described some of the rocks as being the size of motor homes.

In Zion National Park, some of the earth below Zion-Mount Carmel Highway fell away. According to a news release from the park, a retaining wall failed and eight feet of the road was undercut east of the first switchback. The road is closed from the east entrance of the park to Canyon Junction. The release said the park has seen more than ten inches of precipitation from October to March. During the same period last year, the release said, the park saw only 2.77 inches of precipitation.

All the precipitation that’s fallen across Utah, Gleason said, can have a big impact on the ground.

“It’s all due to the freeze-thaw cycle. We’ve had a pretty extreme winter with a lot of storms, especially the Moab area, where we had a big slide today. That’s had a lot of weather.  You have the cooling down and the heating up and all of that can really cause rocks to jar loose, come loose,” Gleason said.

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Wet Weather Leads to Rock Slides Across Utah