The odds for a catastrophic collapse of an unstable hillside in the northwest Wyoming resort town of Jackson, are low, a landslide expert said.
George Machan, who works for Landslide Technology in Portland, Oregon, gives less than a 5-percent chance that the hillside will completely fail.
“I can’t rule out that there will be a big lurch, but it’s not likely,” Machan said Thursday.
With the recent catastrophic Washington state landslide, which has killed at least 35 people, destroyed homes and businesses, and evacuated at least 60 people from their homes fresh in people’s minds with regard to landslides, nobody wants to take any chances.
SFGate Wyoming Mudslide: Cracks Form on Hillside From 100-Foot-Deep Slide The Weather Channel… http://t.co/MzCRuJ1xRJ
— Wyoming_Guide (@Wyoming_Guide) April 11, 2014
The area at risk is the main thoroughfare just outside of the historic “Jackson Hole” downtown area, a high tourist section of Wyoming. The region that is at risk is about the size of two football fields (about 240 yards).
The latest determination from Machan is that only one unoccupied home, as well as a restaurant and a pharmacy were most in danger. But, residents of the apartment complexes were still being kept from returning home until further assessments could be made on Friday.
“It’s not as scary as it was yesterday I don’t think,” Roxanne DeVries Robinson, assistant town manager, said Friday. “It’s still moving slowly, but the imminent catastrophic scare is not as great.”
Landslide threat in Wyoming prompts evacuation, as a precaution — http://t.co/Ufw177qahd
— Joe Fryer (@joefryer) April 10, 2014
Despite the new information on the slide, a lot of surveying and measuring must still be completed in order to figure out the exact size and speed of its movement, Town Manager Bob McLaurin said.
“We’ve got to map the limits of this slide, understand what we’re dealing with,” McLaurin told the Jackson Hole News & Guide.
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