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Repairs Still Underway At Mobile Home Park After March Earthquake

MAGNA Utah – Nearly a month after a 5.7-magnitude earthquake and over 1,100 aftershocks, some Salt Lake County families are still picking up the pieces.

Many said the Great Utah ShakeOut scheduled for Thursday was a timely moment to take a closer look at our emergency preparedness plans.

The March 18 earthquake knocked dozens of mobile homes in off of their foundations in a neighborhood near the Magna/West Valley City border.

A 4.2-magnitude aftershock Tuesday night served as a reminder, the earth is still moving.

“It was scary. The first thing I thought was, ‘Here we go again,’” said Abra Stone, who lives at the mobile home park.

Stone was working from home when the latest big aftershock hit.

“It sounded like someone crashed into the house again, and with us not being on our complete stand system, the house sways as if you’re on a boat,” Stone said. “It seems pretty intense. It was the biggest one yet.”

Stone said her home was in better shape than some of her neighbors’ homes. She and her husband did not have to be evacuated. However, the home still needs to undergo an inspection.

“It will be great once we get everything more structurally sound, and then hopefully if we continue to have these major aftershocks, they won’t continue to have major damage,” Stone said.

The aftershocks have also served as a reminder for Stone and her husband to revisit their emergency preparedness plan. They said they’re taking the Great Utah ShakeOut more seriously than in years’ past.

“I definitely am. I told my husband we need to find items to get underneath,” Stone said.

Finding something to take cover under is exactly what Wade Mathews suggests people do during an earthquake. Mathews is the program manager for Be Ready Utah, which organizes the ShakeOut.

“We need to be ready to take action. Drop, cover, and hold on. Get up against a wall without getting glass overhead,” he said. “If you’re driving, just stop on the side of the road, and try not to stop under powerlines or bridges or things like that.”

Mathews said the point is to stay put and take cover.

“Don’t run into or out of a building where things might be falling down. We saw that happen in Magna on March 18,” he said.

Mathews said taking advantage of quarantine and practicing at home may be the best place to prepare for the next earthquake.

“We need to be prepared. We have been fortunate that these earthquakes were smaller scale,” Mathews said. “We know we have potential of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Wasatch Fault.”

You can find more information on how to participate in the Great Utah ShakeOut and prepare for an earthquake at BeReadyUtah.gov.

As for residents of the mobile home park, West Valley City officials worked with city and county funds along with generous donations to help get residents back on their feet. They’re hoping families can come back in the next few weeks.

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