Historic Salt Lake City Cemetery One Of Areas Hit Hardest By Windstorm

Sep 9, 2020, 4:06 PM | Updated: Sep 12, 2020, 6:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The severe windstorm that hit Utah Tuesday took aim at the historic Salt Lake City cemetery, ripping at least 100 trees from the ground and postponing funerals.

The cemetery was closed Wednesday as crews focused on clearing debris there and at Liberty Park.

“Whoa, it’s a mess. This is the problem, shallow root base,” said Pat Lawrence, an Avenues resident, as he looked over the damage.

The winds have calmed but people all over northern Utah are still talking about Tuesday’s wild weather.

“Unreal,” Lawrence exclaimed. “It was like a bomb blew up the Avenues.”

The Salt Lake City Cemetery is one park closed until debris is removed.

Aside from the trees, the wind blew down several power poles.

“It almost looks intentional, you know, like someone took their finger and pointed at which trees they wanted taken out,” Lawrence said.

Dozens of headstones were damaged, but initial assessments don’t indicate any graves were unearthed.

City cemetery sexton Keith Van Otten said there does not appear to be major damage to any gravesites, which include prominent Utah figures and leaders buried at the cemetery.

Van Otten said at least two funerals were postponed.

The fallen trees include several Douglas Fur that were nearly a century old.

Many people go to the cemetery just to appreciate the trees that feature at least 19 varieties.

Van Otten said the cemetery was finalizing an application to become an arboretum. He said the process will now likely pause as they focus on cleanup and repairs.

The cemetery is looking for volunteers. If you would like to assist the cleanup can call 801-596-5020.

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Historic Salt Lake City Cemetery One Of Areas Hit Hardest By Windstorm