Landslide splits Wyoming home, threatens more destruction

Wyoming landslide separates house
Wyoming landslide separates house

Jackson, WY (KIFI/CNN) – A landslide that’s already split a home in Wyoming is threatening to do even more damage.

Crews in Jackson are working to slow the landslide down.

The pictures tell the story all by themselves. Dislodged lampposts, an uprooted Walgreens sign, and bumpy hill like formations in the asphalt. The town’s water pump-house cast up by a force of nature more powerful than any of man’s creations.

“Looks like a disaster movie,” spectator Michael Siurua said.

Perhaps most telling, a house pretty much sliced in two.

“The house is pretty separated and the front house is dropped approximately six feet.”

The slide had been moving fairly slowly, then Thursday it sped up and slid more than three feet in less than 24 hours.

Movement has since slowed back down to about an inch each day.

Every few minutes, you can see more of the hill give way, as chunks of rock and mud loosen and fall into the Walgreens parking lot.

“That parking lot in Walgreens is a no-entry zone. The only people going in there are the surveyors to get measurements and get out,” Chief Willy Watsabaugh, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS said.

Friday, the sewer lines up Budge Drive fractured presenting a potentially smelly problem.

“To ensure that we don’t have risk to the public in terms of contamination, we’ve plugged the sewer. So the sewer is now going to start backing up. If it backs up too far, it will come up in people’s houses,” Chief Watsabaugh said.

Crews are working on a long-term fix to prevent this, and water flow has been reduced in case the water lines fracture.

The crews are also continuing work on a concrete buttress they hope will help slow the slide.

“The reason this landslide is occurring is because there’s been a de-weighting of the ground. Anything we can put at the toe of the slide should slow it down,” Chief Watsabaugh said.

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