Rains of up to six inches in places caused several mudslides in the valleys near Lamoille, closing roads and causing minimal road damage last weekend. The biggest slide occurred in the early hours of Saturday, October 5, near Pla-Mor Campground and Marina when the slope above Highway 61 collapsed and tons of dirt and rock slumped onto the road, blocking the southbound lane of traffic and part of the northbound lane, according to reports. Smaller mudslides and fallen trees were reported at another nearby location on Highway 61, County Road 9 near Cedar Ridge Drive, and County Road 15. Cedar Valley Golf Course closed temporarily due to damage from the rain.
State crews had cleared the Highway 61 obstruction by 6 a.m., before nearby resident Frank Tainter awoke inconvenienced. “I think when the [mudslides] first came down, early in the morning, some of them were pretty spectacular,” he said. Judging by the damaged slope and smeared mud left behind on the road, he figured it was one of the largest in recent memory.
Neither Tainter nor neighbor Sally Sloan were surprised that slides occurred. Rock falls and small slides are a regular occurrence in their area, they said. “We had that gully-washer of a rain,” Sloan explained. “The rain was just coming down in buckets here.” Mudslides are “absolutely normal geology,” she added.