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Nephi Residents Band Together To Fix Storm Damage

NEPHI, Utah – Neighbors in a Utah town came together to fix severe damage almost eight months after a massive storm hit the area.

“It is highly emotional,” said Penny Boel while standing in her backyard. “This whole thing has been a real up and down roller coaster.”

The storm hit Nephi earlier this year, and water from the severe weather eroded the land under a cement retaining wall that runs behind a half-dozen homes.

“It was a mess,” said neighbor Todd Palmer. “It was a 30-year storm and the wall came down,” Palmer said.

The wall behind Boel’s home had to be removed, but equipment for the job would have cost $30,000, and insurance companies weren’t going to cover the repairs.

“No, we tried (the insurance),” Palmer said with a laugh. “Here we are eight months later finally figuring it out.”

The homeowners were on their own to fix the mess – until they collectively realized they knew people who could get things done.

People like Wes Bonham, who is the general manager for Nephi-based TNT General Contractors.

“When something like this happens to several homes, your heart goes out to the community,” he said.

Bonham lives just blocks from the damaged area, and he figured why not help tear down the wall and level parts of the land for free.

“It’s a group effort,” he said. “We’re just trying to get it down to help these people out. Many of them are our friends. Our kids go to school together. They just need a little help.”

Boel watched as a backhoe dug up part of her backyard, as well as the yards of neighbors behind and next to her.

“They are awesome,” she said. “It actually is really good that they’re out here to help us.”

Neighbors said they hoped to have this all dug up by this weekend and a new retaining wall and landscaping by this winter.

Homeowners are pitching in to pay for the new wall and will do their own landscaping.

Even if they don’t get it done by then, they said it’s okay because this whole experience has brought them closer together.

“That’s why I live in a small town because this happens,” Palmer said.