NORTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Officials are working quickly to develop a plan that will secure a huge landslide in Washington County.
Engineers recommended that two houses be demolished before they came down the hillside on their own. Now, a third condemned house on Majestic Hill in North Strabane Township could be next.
The landslide caused the hillside to move for the second time this year, endangering the homes.
“The third house in here at some point in time will be threatened. It’s stable for now, but at some point in time, probably this week, it will be coming down,” North Strabane Township manager Andrew Walz said.
Heavy rains caused the first landslide in June when massive amounts of dirt came tumbling down the hillside, forcing the closing of Forest Lane.
The township and developers were working on a permanent solution, but the earth shifted again on Thursday, leaving cracks in the hillside and threatening Oakwood Drive, the only road that provides access to the neighborhood.
Walz says the township is now working with the same company that stabilized the hillside after the landslide along Route 30 earlier this year.
“They were out here this morning. They had some design people out here. We’re waiting to hear back from them on some type of wall stabilization up there as well as on the slide behind us,” Walz said.
In the meantime, Walz says they’re trying to help the owners of the three condemned houses.
“We’ve been working and trying to work with Ryan Homes. It’s our position that the developer of this community needs to step in and assist them and basically buy them out of those mortgages,” Walz said.
Since Thursday, more than 200 trucks have been hauling tons of loose dirt from the hillside. For the next few months, crews will be scrambling to fix and secure the hillside before the winter.