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Last week, Utah’s soon-to-be Governor, Gary Herbert, backed off on a promised probe into the cause of the failure of the Logan Northern Canal on July 11th with spokeswoman Angela Welling calling it a "fruitless endeavor." What? Can they be serious?

Herbert is scheduled to move from the Lieutenant Governor’s office into the Governor’s office as soon current Governor Jon Huntsman is confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to China. And in the wake of the canal collapse, he initially said that he was committed to finding the "underlying causes" of the disaster. Now he has decided to not ask the Executive Water Task Force, the entity responsible for for investigating waterways, or any other state agency, to look into the matter.

The group is slated to meet in August and one member thinks the time has come for more government oversight of the 5,300 miles of canals in Utah. Herbert, however, claims there is no statute that gives the state the authority to conduct the probe although he admits he can order one; he now says that even if he does order one, no one will have to participate. This pronouncement comes on the heels of Logan city officials indicating that they will not be looking into the causes either.

So what now for the families of the three killed and those who suffered the loss of their homes or other property damage? These victims are on their own, apparently, to figure out what went wrong and to attempt get justice from the canal owners. Despicable. And unnecessary – a neutral third-party or independent panel should be formed to determine the causes of the disaster and to make recommendations, perhaps binding, to prevent future canal failures.

What do you think?


  1. Gravatar for Matthew

    Mr. Hanna:

    I'm glad to see you've taken an interest in the Logan canal story, but please don't forget to cite your sources. The newspapers that spend the time and money to do the reporting on these issues are struggling and it's only fair to give credit — and links — where it is due.



  2. Gravatar for Bret Hanna


    Thank you for this comment. For this series, I’ve cobbled together information from a number of sources and I always try to cite/reference/link sources when appropriate.

  3. Gravatar for J.D.

    Words cannot express the depth of how appalled I am

    not only for Logan city's refusal to take rightful responsibilty for the tragic failure of the Canyon

    Road canal, but also for their callous insensitivity toward the people whose lives have been so horribly affected by the disaster. The horror of the situation is further compounded by the fact that USU conducted an assessment of the canal's condition a couple of years ago and determined that the canal was, at that time highly dangerous and in critical need of immediate action. The report was submitted to the Logan City authorities. Not only were corrections not made, but the people who would have been most affected by a major canal failure were not notified of the imminent danger. Why would Logan City and even the governor of this great state refuse to do an investigation into the failure of

    the Canyon Road canal? I submit to you, dear reader, that the officials already know why the failure occurred. And choose to do nothing. Just like they chose to do nothing when they were given the report by USU.

    Now we have precious lives lost. We have homes where people cannot live, because of the damage.

    My question is: Why do we pay taxes in all of it's many forms to Logan City if we cannot expect

    those we pay to properly manage and maintain our city's infrastructures??

    It's time to stand and demand accountability.

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