Open detonations at Tooele Army Depot draw criticism from residents

The sound of open detonations at the Tooele Army Depot rattle homes miles away and have some Utahns on edge. Video still: TEAD/Facebook

TOOELE, Utah, April 13, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Open detonations at Tooele Army Depot this week are drawing ire from residents nearby.

Officials posted Monday morning on Facebook that, based on this week’s schedule and weather, Tooele Army Depot will be conducting open detonations in the south area on the following days and times:

Monday between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Depending on weather)
Thursday between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Depending on weather)
Friday — TBD

“If there are any changes, we will let you know,” the post said.

However, some residents in the area are not happy. Some responded on Facebook on  Monday, while others commented Tuesday.

One Facebook user wrote: “Why on earth are they so intense this week?! It’s shaking my house like crazy! This is way too much so close to residential areas.”

Another user wrote: “My children were frightened beyond belief. My house was shaking. I’ve never experienced the blasting be so loud and intense. This was way beyond atmospheric conditions. I’m in city center. Felt the blasting at 11:30 a.m.”

A third user wrote: “I am in east Lehi. These today were CRAZY intense!!!! Lived in Lehi most of my life and never felt the shakes like this before. Windows and doors rattled and ceiling fan shook. Maybe this should be done way far away from residences. This can’t be good for anyone.”

Another wrote: “Tooele Army Depot, today was beyond acceptable. I have heard about clouds making it seem worse, NO, this was very bad. I can’t prove it but I know the cracks in my basement are worse than what they were. Everything on the walls rattling and shaking. It was bad, very bad. I am a veteran and understand the military has a job, but this was way beyond acceptable.

“My service dog had his eyes starting to roll which is the beginning of a seizure, by a lot of rubbing, talking calmly, I was able to pull him out of it. Now true he doesn’t like the normal blast of the past but it has never caused him to go into a seizure like today because the blasts were so bad. Now if you want to go with the atmospheric conditions make it seem worse, then you should know and understand those conditions and not do the blasting when they are likely to cause issues in close by communities.”

Other residents countered, one writing: “It’s been operating for over 80 years, don’t like it, move away?”

The Tooele Arms Depot conducts open pit detonations at regular intervals throughout the year in order to destroy aging military ordnance no longer considered stable enough to use or store.



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