Unstable hillside forces two Portland families to leave their ho - KPTV - FOX 12

Unstable hillside forces two Portland families to leave their homes

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Families in two different Portland houses are being forced to leave their homes due to the threat of a landslide.

Engineers are watching the conditions closely. They believe the unusually icy winter, plus heavy rain, triggered a pre-existing landslide.

The threatened homes are in Willamette Heights, on Northwest Thurman Street.

Engineers said the two homes have seriously shifted and could collapse.

“In the middle of the night they heard some big creaks and settling in the house, it freaked them out, they started packing that night. The next day they were out of there,” said neighbor, Frank Binnendyk.

The people who live in that house were right to get moving. Soon after they left, a “Notice to Vacate” stated that their home could collapse.

The notice also warned everyone to enter at their own risk.

“If you look at the side of the house you can see where it’s broken away and the siding is coming out, so they were feeling that going on,” said Binnendyk.

A large crack in the road that continues to grow can also be spotted near the house. Engineers believe it’s a sign of a slow moving pre-existing landslide.

“There’s been a couple of reported slides in this immediate area, one was back in 1916. Then in 1950 there was a slide right in the same area,” said Binnendyk.

Black and white photos from city archives show some of the damage. The pictures were taken decades ago, on the same exact road.

The people who live in the two homes said their insurance won’t cover the damages.

There is some good news however, engineers believe the hill is slowly beginning to stabilize on its own.

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