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Dog Rescued After Falling In Storm Drain

The Park City Fire District came to the rescue Saturday after a dog fell into an open storm drain in a construction area by Park City Heights.

The dog, a white Labrador named Cisca, was unhurt in the mishap, which occurred at about 4:00 pm Saturday.

Park City’s Chief Building Official, Dave Thacker, told KPCW that the hole has been covered, and the contractor at the Heights is working to ensure other drains are covered too.

Park Meadows resident Wayne Mah said he was backcountry snowshoeing with Cisca and his two other dogs in an area that has long been commonly used for hiking.

“Very aware of the area,” Mah said. “Very aware of natural hazard and sinkholes and tree wells and stuff like that. I noticed my dog was missing so I called her name and she didn't come. She didn't come so I started backtracking to see what had happened. I found this hole in the snow about two feet by two feet and I looked down in the hole and she was at the bottom of a hole about seven or eight feet deep that's how. I couldn't tell exactly what it was, but I thought was a sinkhole.”
He said that the dog, who is five years old and about 80 pounds, took the accident in stride.

“She was pretty cool with it,” Mah continued. “I mean she was kind of upset there was probably maybe five or six inches of water in the bottom and she was getting kind of tired of that. But she was very patient I kept talking to her and tell her we’ve got help on the way.”

He added that Cisca was happy to see the fire crews. Mah said a person could have been seriously injured. He thinks the hole opened up because the spring thaw is starting.

“This winter we had a lot of snow, so I suspect that hole was bridged over,” Mah explained. “I could have walked across that many times this winter, but it was on Saturday where we had a really warm day and it really there was a quick thaw going on. She broke through probably two feet of snow into that storm drain.”

He also took issue with the notion that he was intruding in an area he knew was a construction site.

“There’s absolutely no posting, no signs, no warnings, no hazard tape, nothing in that particular area,” Mah said. “There’s lots of people in Park City that walk into that area. I would hope that they would get out there and inventory the other drains to see if there's any other potential hazards. Party city fire when we left they went out and got some plywood and came up to the one that we've fallen into and closed it off and made sure it was secure.”

David Thacker from Park City Municiipal said his staff is checking to make sure the storm drains are covered. He advised citizens to be cautious since you can’t see what snow has concealed, and also be aware of construction sites and their danger. Thacker said those with concerns or questions can call them at 435-615-5100.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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