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Volunteers helping Riverdale residents evacuated after landslide

Posted at 3:49 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 23:26:55-05

RIVERDALE, Utah -- Amanda Martin knows her evacuation could be just days away.

"These peoples' houses," she points to her right, "It's a straight drop and these over here, once you get to the end of her property, it's a cliff."

The Riverdale City Manager told reporters Wednesday morning that the landslide that's already forced three mandatory evacuations, continues to spread.

"We can't control the soil coming off the hill, we can't control the water at this point," said Roger Worthen, City Manager for Riverdale.

The sudden landslide was caused by springwater underground the shifted the dirt on the hillside. But neighbors speculate about where the water came from and who is responsible.

In the meantime, Amanda Martin watches as her neighbors pack up their belongings to move out, wondering if her house is next.

"I mean their investment is gone," she says on her front porch looking over at the neighbors. "It’s just gone, and now we are waiting to see if we have to evacuate.”

Scores of volunteers poured into a Riverdale neighborhood Wednesday to help four families who were evacuated after a massive landslide.  The biggest landslide happened Sunday night but multiple slides have occurred since.

On Tuesday night, Joan Reeder was evacuated from her home of 42 years.

“That was like going to my own funeral and disposing of my own estate,” said Reeder. “That was hard. That was really difficult but I’m all cried out now.”

Friends, neighbors and family members helped Reeder get as many of her belongings as possible out of her house.

“I have been hauling water and all of her possessions so she can get everything, so she can start a new chapter in her life,” said Jim Manning, Reeder’s son-in-law. “For everyone this has been a very emotional situation.”

This same neighborhood was hit by a tornado on September 22, 2016.  Hundreds of volunteers showed up to help the 50 families displaced by that storm.  Lori Rucker lost her home in the tornado but she is still delivering newspapers here as she has for 14 years.

“Yeah I just started bawling,” Rucker said.  "I know what it’s like to move all of a sudden, everything at once.  Yeah I feel for them.  I hope they can fix the landslide and keep their homes hopefully.”

On Wednesday morning, U-Haul trucks lined the street to help move belongings out of the four homes.​