Utah's Department of Transportation reassured Provo residents recently that it will not be firing artillery shells into their backyards any more. Apparently, Utah uses 105mm howitzers to trigger controlled avalanches in areas including Provo Canyon. In March, avalanche safety workers (who might be misnamed) used too much propellant for one shot and ended up firing a 105mm shell into Lori and Scott Connors' backyard on the other side of the canyon. The explosion left a gaping crater and sent shrapnel into the Connors' house as well as neighboring homes.
Complaints were lodged.
A UDOT spokesman announced this week that UDOT had reviewed the matter before starting up again with artillery this season, and was confident that it had the problems under control. "What we found," he said, "wasn't a breakdown in procedure but a breakdown of the human element of the procedure." I'm really not sure what that means. I think it translates to, "the artillery shell did what it was supposed to do — the problem was that we shot it into somebody's house." And that's not all that reassuring.
I found it interesting that the Salt Lake Tribune's website, where this story appears, has a link on its main menu (left side) specifically for "Polygamy." I guess that makes sense.