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Murray residents demand answers after canal breach

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Posted at 4:36 PM, Apr 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-29 20:40:36-04

MURRAY, Utah - Residents in Murray are demanding answers after a canal breach damaged their homes over the weekend.

An irrigation canal broke near 1209 West and 6700 South in Murray on Saturday, flooding homes in a nearby neighborhood.

"My two little ones ran in crying hysterically that there was a river in my road," said Stephen Linge, whose house was flooded. "Water just started rushing in and by the time it reached the stairs, it was already to our knees."

Some homes had five or six feet of water flood their basements, and now they're working to get things cleaned up.

"We're just moving forward. It's been pretty hard," said Scott Goodman, whose house was flooded.

Homeowners are bracing for hundreds of thousands of dollars to rebuild and they're hoping North Jordan Canal Irrigation, the canal company, will cover their losses. Insurance adjusters from the company were on-site on Monday to see the damages.

"They will cover everything to get us back whole and back normal," Goodman said.

But residents are worried that even if their damages are covered, they may not be safe from another breach in the future.

"We're concerned about the future. The repair that is going to fix this and also from the hill that is slowly sloughing off behind us," Goodman said.

Linge says that the canal broke nine months ago and North Jordan Canal Irrigation said it had been reinforced. Now residents believe the canal company knew this breach was coming.

"When they dredged out the canal last fall, they saw how little the clay was and how much sand there was. They knew that was a problem," said Jessica Goodman.

Boyd Simper, from North Jordan Canal Irrigation, said on Saturday that the last leak has no relation to what happened last weekend and that the company's superintendent inspects the canal every day.

North Jordan Canal Irrigation didn't want to comment on camera on Monday about where they're at in the investigation and about their plans to restore the canal.

Murray City Mayor Dan Snarr says the canal company is cooperating and he's optimistic they'll get things back on track.

"My philosophy is don't fix blame, fix the problem then go back afterward and see what can we do in the future to avert this kind of thing from happening again," Snarr said.

Related stories:
Flood cleanup continues in Murray neighborhood
Police and fire crews responding to flooding homes in Murray