NORTH SALT LAKE — City crews installed about 16 jersey barriers Wednesday on a hillside between Lofty Lane and homes on Eagle Pointe Circle below.

The barriers, which are made of plastic and are filled with water, are meant to divert any water that may flow down the hillside away from the homes, said North Salt Lake city engineer Paul Ottoson.

Ottoson acknowledged that the barriers, which are similar to those used to divide highways, probably couldn't stop a future hillside failure, but they could help with minor water flow.

On Monday, Randy Tran's Lofty Lane backyard collapsed down the hill toward two homes. One of the homes was hit by a large rock, and the home's stucco was damaged. Both homes' backyards are loaded with mud and debris.

Tran had turned on his sprinklers, and investigators are trying to determine if overwatering or a sprinkler system failure contributed to the slide. Tran and his neighbors said they saw water gushing out of sprinkler pipes after the mud, rocks and wall fell down the hill.

Utah Geological Survey geologist Ashley Elliott told the North Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday that her preliminary opinion of the collapse is that it was partly induced by the fill under Tran's three-tiered retaining wall.

"As long as no additional water is put on the slope, you have a lower potential for it continuing to fail," Elliott said.

Bonnie Mendez, who lives in Eagle Pointe Circle, told KSL she is staying with family until the situation stabilizes, and Tran's family members have left their home temporarily. Tran said Monday that he doesn't feel safe in his home.

"They should not have built this home on this lot," he said.

And Tran's neighbors below him say they feel cursed because the hillside, which already is wet with natural springs, has failed before.

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