Looming, creeping landslide splits home in Wyoming

By Mead Gruver

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, April 19 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

A house breaks apart as a slow-moving landslide in Jackson, Wyo. advances downhill on Friday, April 18. 2014. The slide has cut off access to a 60-person neighborhood and has threatened town utilities, including a water line.

Jackson Hole News and Guide, Angus M. Thuermer Jr, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

JACKSON, Wyo. — A slow-motion disaster is unfolding in the Wyoming resort town of Jackson as a creeping landslide that split a hillside home in half inches toward more houses and businesses below.

The ground beneath the 100-foot hillside has been giving way an inch at a time since the movement was discovered on April 4.

Assistant Town Administrator Roxanne Robinson said by Friday, the rate of movement was doubling every day.

Officials say the hillside is unlikely to suddenly collapse like the March 22 landslide in Oso, Wash., that killed 39 people. But the threat is real and authorities are enforcing an evacuation order in hopes of avoiding injuries.

The area has been graded for roads and businesses in recent years, possibly weakening the hillside and setting the stage for the landslide.

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