Salt Lake City Cemetery Reopens After September Windstorm Cleanup

May 24, 2021, 5:03 PM | Updated: May 25, 2021, 7:42 am
September's severe winds uprooted and damaged dozens of trees. Several graves were also damaged. (K...
September's severe winds uprooted and damaged dozens of trees. Several graves were also damaged. (KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake City’s historic cemetery reopened to the public for the first time since September’s wild windstorm blew down thousands of trees across the Salt Lake Valley.

Mendenhall led Monday’s celebration as the cemetery reopened to the public.

The storm brought hurricane-force winds of up to 100 mph when it hit Sept. 7.

The cemetery was one of the hardest-hit parts of Salt Lake City with 265 trees downed and dozens of headstones damaged.

“As soon as cemetery staff realized the extent of the damage on Sept. 8, the grounds closed to the public as a safety precaution and to make sure the hundreds of historic headstones and other monuments were not further disturbed,” Mendenhall said.

Restoring the cemetery was a complicated process that started in December when the city commissioned an archeologist to document the damage to historic artifacts.

Another company came in to reposition headstones that falling trees knocked around and broke.

In the spring, crews replaced sod in 265 holes left behind by rootballs as the trees were yanked and twisted from the ground. Hundreds of other parts of the cemetery also needed new sod.

With the repairs finished, city leaders decided it was time to let the public return.

“Reopening the cemetery is an important step toward the city’s goal of achieving an official arboretum designation for the Salt Lake City Cemetery,” Mendenhall said. “This fall, the city will be planning an arboretum unveiling that will include a memorial for long-time Cemetery Sexton Mark Smith, who passed away in 2019.”

Trees narrowly missed the headstones of three presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — John Taylor, Heber J. Grant and Gordon B. Hinckley.

A tree clipped the obelisk from the headstone of the legendary Porter Rockwell.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Layton police responding to a barricaded suspect in an apartment building. (Courtesy: Phoenix Antho...
Michael Houck

SWAT arrest fugitive who hid in an Layton apartment complex

A wanted fugitive is in police custody after hiding out in a Layton apartment complex Sunday afternoon.
21 hours ago
Guest Haus, one of the six businesses, taking part of the recycling pilot program....
Shelby Lofton

Park City introduces reusable food container pilot program

Tossed food take-out containers could be a thing of the past for Park City as it's launching a pilot program that reimagines the doggie bag.
21 hours ago
The three car crash, causing roads to be blocked on SR-36. (Courtesy: Colleen Shuman)...
Michael Houck

Three vehicle crash closes portion of SR-36, one person flown to hospital

One person has serious injuries after a crash caused a trailer to flip and strike another vehicle Sunday afternoon.
21 hours ago
Wildlife officials responding to the cougar incident....
Michael Houck

Trail runner hurt by cougar in Millcreek Canyon, DWR searching for the animal

Wildlife officials are looking for a cougar that hurt a runner after it was startled Sunday morning.
21 hours ago
Paraglider crashed into mountain and was hoisted to the U of U in critical condition....
Brooke Williams

Life Flight responds to critical condition paragliding crash up Olympus Cove Sunday

Paraglider crashed into mountain and was hoisted by Life Flight to the U of U in critical condition.
21 hours ago
Brooke Williams

Stolen vehicle fled from UHP at traffic stop and crashed

A vehicle, which was stolen out of Sandy, was to be pulled over by UHP when it fled and crashed with other cars.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Salt Lake City Cemetery Reopens After September Windstorm Cleanup