Wyoming Hillside Slide Keeps 60 Residents From Their Homes

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 09:27 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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A Wyoming hillside the size of two football fields just outside historic downtown Jackson has kept roughly 60 residents displaced from their homes as it continues to slide, but luckily geologists say it is not accelerating.

"Basically, the movement is remaining fairly constant," incident spokeswoman Charlotte Reynolds told The Associated Press. "So we're having to monitor our excitement, but it is still moving so it is obviously still a concern."

Geologists and others are watching the hill's movement with the help of ground monitoring equipment. A geologist has put the risk of sudden collapse at just 5 percent. So far, only one unoccupied home, which is directly atop the slide zone, has sustained damage.

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About 60 people haven't stayed at their homes since Wednesday. Officials say the move was a precaution in the wake of Washington state's deadly landslide and was also tied to damage of the only access road.

Reynolds said some residents outside the highest-risk area were thinking about returning to their homes and apartments despite the evacuation order. But she said she wasn't aware of anyone actually doing so. Residents are allowed escorted access to their homes to check on them and pick up personal belongings, but no one is allowed to stay overnight.

"The evacuation order remains in place, and officials strongly encourage residents to adhere to that evacuation order," Reynolds said.

As long as the hill continues to show movement, residents should stay out of their homes even though only one unoccupied house is within the area considered to be most at risk, Reynolds said.

Displaced residents have been staying in motels and with friends.

The Red Cross was expected to open a shelter Sunday evening.

At the foot of the slide zone, two restaurants, a liquor store and a just-built Walgreens remain closed amid the risk of a sudden hill collapse.





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