Wednesday, January 18, 2006

sliding away

We've had quite a bit of rain recently, I know we've approached and possibly passed the 30 day mark. I really don't mind for the most part, I don't own an umbrella and haven't made any solid commitments to get one. A negative result of the saturating quantity of rain we're receiving, however, are homes and other structures sliding off of the very hillsides they're built upon. I obtained the pictures I've posted from local news articles, it's been quite a topic lately as a whole neighborhood may have to relocate. But seriously, why build your house on an unstable hillside, or on the edge of a mountain? Especially after they clear cut a patch of forest to build on, that increases the likelyhood of a landslide, with nothing for the topsoil and other layers of earth to anchor to. I wouldn't feel comfortable living in a place that was held in place with large steel supports, or lously looking "retention walls" that could shift with the shifting earth. Whatever the heavy rains and mudslides don't wipe out, the rest is left to the earthquakes. The local news pages state there hasn't been any more land movement, as the homes of these nervous canyon residents hangs in the balance with measured, baited breath. (I feel) anyone just viewing an apartment building or home on the edge of a canyon, hillside or sheer mountainside, can see the inherent danger and potential energy that lies in wait for the right condition to spring into kinetic action. For starters, if you are a prospective renter/buyer, the first negative sign would be that homeowner's insurance doesn't cover damage incured from mud or landslides. What a gamble, who should be liable? I think that it shouldn't be legal for developers to build in an area that has been assessed as unstable, but I don't build homes and don't know enough about process or development to give informed suggestions. At least it's an intersting drama to follow. The latest news reports that along with the receding (but not by much) volume of rain, there hasn't been any ground movement for 24 hours now. The families in the affected (effected?) apartment buildings have been relocated to a hotel courtsey of the Red Cross.

So it goes.

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