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Cleanup from Magna quake continues as some residents grow more frustrated

(Crews from Dominion Energy inspecting homes in the Western Estates Mobile Home Park. Credit: Paul Nelson)

MAGNA – Some residents in and near the town of Magna are packing up and getting out of their homes after they were deemed “unsafe” by utility crews.  Homeowners have many questions about where they can go and how they can pay for repairs from the Magna earthquake.

As you pass through the streets of the Western Estates Mobile Home Park near 7200 West, you’ll see dozens of homes marked with white, pink or orange papers.  Some of these homes structures are limited to “restricted use” while others have been deemed unsafe.  In all, 48 homes were reportedly knocked off their bases.

(Exterior of the home of Don McNabb. The pink paper reads the home is “unsafe.” Credit: Paul Nelson)

One woman says displaced residents were encouraged to turn to the Red Cross for shelter, but she has serious doubts about safety from COVID-19.

She says, “Shelters are not safe because of coronavirus.  So, come on.”

She also says tenants have had a difficult time contacting the property owners.

“They didn’t even answer their phones. We have to speak directly with the people from Dominion Energy to find out what’s going on and what’s happening because we didn’t get any response from the office,” she says.

Other residents, like Dan McNabb, believe the property managers are doing everything they can.  However, the management offices were also marked as “restricted use,” with caution tape around it.

He says, “I have the same questions.  I want to know what we can do, but I’m not going to hold my breath.”

(Don McNabb, left, showing the damage done to his porch. Credit: Paul Nelson)

McNabb has resided in the park for roughly 20 years, but he’ll be staying with his son until he can figure out how to repair his home. Several windows shattered and the porch/entryway is mangled.  For now, he has no idea how he’s going to pay for it.

“I’ve got my insurance guy finding out if I accidentally got an earthquake rider put on my clause, but I don’t think so,” McNabb says.

By Thursday afternoon, officials with RHP Management sent a statement to KSL saying they were giving tenants a break on rent payments for next month.  It reads…

“The safety and well-being of our residents is our top priority. We are grateful there were no serious injuries as a result of the earthquake and our management team remains on-site to provide assistance and support to our residents. 

As a way to assist the residents of Western Estates and Kopper View during this difficult time, we will be offering free rent for the month of April.

We continue to monitor the situation and encourage our residents to reach out to our community manager with any questions or concerns.”

However, the town itself doesn’t really have funds to help its residents rebuild.

Municipal Administrator Greg Schulz says, “As far as open money to help with grants, we don’t have it.”

Schulz says the town has a yearly budget of $7 million, but the vast majority of that goes to the Salt Lake Municipal Services District. He says the township really only has roughly $400,000 per year to work with.

If the town were able to get any kind of emergency funding, Schulz says it would likely come through FEMA, although it’s far too early to know if the town would qualify or how much it would get.