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Mudslide comes down the hillside, pushes against home

Apr 24, 2023 12:46PM ● By Becky Ginos

A mudslide Sunday night brought down snow and debris. The overall estimated size of the slide was 200 feet wide and 150 feet high. Photo courtesy of Mountain Green Fire Protection District

MOUNTAIN GREEN—Residents were evacuated from two homes in the Mountain Green Highland subdivision Sunday night when a mudslide came down the hillside and pushed against one of the homes. Residents at a neighboring home were also advised to evacuate.

“We were alerted about the slide on Friday,” said Mountain Green Fire District Chief Brian C. Brendel. “There was a little bit Friday then a little more on Saturday but the worst happened Sunday about 9:30 p.m.”

Neighbors and firefighters tried to dig several drainage trenches in an attempt to relieve water buildup, he said. “The whole community responded, it was awesome. It didn’t really work though as the hillside slipped.”

People were trying to move belongings out of the house, said Brendel. “I shut down the operation mainly for safety issues. It was pretty hectic but we got most of the belongings out of the house. I set up an incident command and limited it to firefighters in the house.”

Every garage and trailer was full of stuff, he said. “People offered up any storage space they had. It was wonderful.”

Brendel said he also advised the neighbors adjacent to evacuate. “We didn’t know what could happen. The slide displaced five people for the night.”

The gas was also shut off, he said. “If there was an increase in the slide we didn’t want any further damage. We wanted to make things safe for the community.”

The hillside was precarious above this house and could let loose, said Brendel. “The overall estimated size of the slide was 200 feet wide and 150 feet tall.”

A geo tech came out on Tuesday and said there was still potential for the hill to move, he said. “They can’t do anything while it’s wet. All the weight of the snow acts as a sponge. We worry about roof collapses, landslides or whatever.”

There’s been a historic amount of snow, said Brendel. “We got five feet of snow in six days a couple of weeks ago.”

It didn’t appear that there was any structural damage to the home, he said. “There is no mud in the home at this time. They got very lucky. When Mother Nature wants to move – she moves.” λ

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