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Hill dangers now expects a crowd

rowd The remains of the Hendrickson home lie at the bottom of a slope below Southwest Burlingame Place. The house slid down the hill early Wednesday morning. Engineers are still trying to figure out what caused the incident.

Two days after the Southwest Hills Residential League sent the meeting notice, a devastating landslide sent a house careening down a slope and into two other homes.

"Anybody who likes the view in the West Hills of Portland should be very careful about their lots," said Ermel Quevedo, a geotechnical engineer and president of Cornforth Consultants Inc., a geotechnical firm in Portland.

"More than ever, I'm convinced it was a leaky pipe" that caused the slide, said Scott Burns, chairman of Portland State University's geology department. "We've been battling this forever," he said. "If something as little as a leaky pipe can cause a slide like that, it's clear the problem is systemic."

And although the city requires geotechnical reviews at new building sites or for major remodeling projects, existing homes -- the Hendrickson home was built in 1930 -- and buildings do not get the same scrutiny.

In that case, homeowners should inspect their houses and lots for hints of slides.

"There's usually signs of movement on the property before one of these things happens," said Morgan, of the city's Bureau of Development Services.

But Quevado said some geotechnical consultants will not work on residential sites because of the liability involved. Many homeowners want guarantees against landslides that experts cannot provide.

He praised the city for building awareness of landslide risk, but the final responsibility comes down to the "Average Joe," Hammond said.

"People need to be extremely aware of water in their area and on their property," Bill Burns said. "They need to control storm water and work with their neighbors -- we all need to work together because we're all in this together. That includes the city, the county and the state. Together, we can reduce the risk."

  • 1
  • quote peter reply
  • 2012-12-5 15:04:58
  • hills are dangereous for live.....bt people are stayed there for cool and beautifull atmosphare......please people safety is first...
    <a href="http://www.perfectgeotechnics.com/" target="_blank">geotechnical consultants

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Hi all, I'm a Geotechnical Engineer (Class 1 RSE, Senior engineer of Civil 2007 before) that aims to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Also link between scientific discoveries and the commercial applications that meet societal and consumer needs.
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