HUMOR – Recent headlines involving a boulder tumbling down a hillside and landing in the bed of an unsuspecting woman have the collective underpants of many St. George residents in a bunch.
Some residents wonder: Why does the city allow people to build in places like this?! Why does the city make it so easy to getting a building permit?! What will the city do about these boulders that are tumbling willy-nilly around us?!
Here are my questions: What is the city going to do about that blasted summer heat? And what about these Mormons everywhere – can’t the city do something about them? I would also like to have green grass in my yard year-round. I wish the city would figure out this whole arid climate thing.
Clearly I cannot have the City of St. George do all of my thinking for me, so I have decided to take matters into my own hands and consult the Internet. After exactly one Google search – “potential geological catastrophes Washington County Utah” – I found a study that lists the geologic hazards and adverse construction conditions present in the St.George-Hurricane metropolitan area. Obviously, the person in charge of concealing top secret geologic hazard information down at the city slept in today.
After perusing the study over a bowl of Berry Cap’n Crunch I have come to two conclusions. First, Berry Cap’n Crunch really does a number on my gums and yet I cannot stop myself from eating it. Second, like every other place in the world, the St. George-Hurricane metropolitan area is fraught with potential geologic hazards. In a third and related conclusion, I have found that skimming 100 pages worth of geological mumbo-jumbo makes me super drowsy.
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “I wish someone would read this study for me and summarize it in a paragraph or less.”
Today is your lucky day. I am going to summarize the study for you. And any day that you wake up without a Volkswagen-sized boulder in your bed is a lucky day, in my opinion.
The study concludes that the main geologic hazards in this area are flooding, expansive soil, landslides, rock fall, and earthquakes. The study states, “As urbanization expands into areas less suited for development, geologic hazards and adverse construction conditions become increasing concerns in planning, design, and construction of new facilities.” These scientists are full of surprising information, are they not?
The thing to do is to decide which potential hazard you are most intimidated by and avoid living in that area. Is flood water not your thing? Avoid living on a flood plain or at the foot of a crumbling water-retention structure. Is fear of rocks rolling into your living room keeping you awake at night? Avoid living under a boulder-strewn hilltop. If earthquakes are what you worry about, then do not live on an active fault line. If it is sink holes that terrify you, then you are absolutely justified. And good luck. Those things are a real geologic crap-shoot.
Above all, be aware of the risks around you and know the consequences of disregarding them. For example, I know that when I go through the drive through at the Dairy Queen on Bluff Street for my weekly cherry-dipped chocolate soft serve, I am taking my life into my own hands. It is a risk I am willing to take, just like with the Cap’n Crunch.
Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.
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