Structural Engineers Called To Assess Turtle Creek Landslide

TURTLE CREEK (KDKA) – Structural engineers are trying to assess a landslide that is threatening at least one home in Turtle Creek.

However, all the recent rain is not making it easy.

In the 500 block of Ayers Avenue, the road is blocked off because of a landslide that happened Wednesday. It forced at least one family out of their home. Right now, they’re not sure when they’re going to be allowed back inside.

The massive pile of dirt and debris in the middle of the road has been on its way for quite some time, according to Wilkins Township Manager Rebecca Bradley.

Last Friday, the hillside started to give way. Yesterday, the township decided to give Dave Kuhns the opportunity to get out.

“They know it’s coming down and they’re just trying to find a way to solve the problem,” Kuhns said. “Because if it comes down, it could possibly push the whole house over the hill.”

“In this case, their home has not been damaged, but it’s considered unsafe because we don’t know what that hillside is going to do,” Mike Dufresne, of the Red Cross, said.

Bradley says the issue stems from a water break 13 years ago on Highland Avenue, which has contributed to the hillside crumbling.

She says the township is in an active lawsuit with the Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority.

For now, Wilkins Township is working with both a geotechnical engineer and the municipal engineer on the issue

Kuhns, who rents the home, is just hoping he doesn’t have to spend a lengthy amount of time in a hotel.

“Everything I own is in there so I’m gonna have to find another place to move, or hopefully the township will take care of this problem,” he said.

Structural engineers will now have to assess the damage and see if it’s safe for them to go back inside. It’s a process that could take several days.

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