6/18/2014 2:00:00 PM Heavy Rains Cause Landslide in Alna
By Kathy Onorato
Alna resident Donna Wallace said as a result of two landslides on her property over the weekend she now has a much wider driveway, thanks to the nearly 400 yards of blue clay that tumbled down an embankment onto her driveway.
Donna Wallace stands next to an embankment that dumped nearly 400 yards of earth onto the driveway of her Alna home on Sunday, June 15. (Kathy Onorato photo)
Wallace's friend and local contractor Jeff Verney happened to have a backhoe on the premises. Verney worked all day Sunday to spread the clay, which created a wider driveway. Verney also tightly packed the remaining clay on the embankment and Wallace said Verney has assured her there should be no further problems.
On Saturday, June 14, Wallace said she noticed a considerable amount of water flowing down the embankment by her home, located in a gravel pit on Last Dream Lane, just off Route 218 in Alna.
"It was like a river," she said.
She also noticed a large tree trunk that had been way up on the embankment had made its way down to the ditch alongside her driveway, but did not think too much of it.
By the time she awoke on Sunday morning, she was surprised to see a considerable amount of gravel and clay had slid down the embankment onto her driveway.
Wallace said she remembers looking out her bedroom window and thinking of what she was going to do next. She said she went out to get a closer look and then decided to check out her property further.
It was around 8 a.m. on June 15 when she and some friends witnessed the second slide in the same area where they stood just two minutes earlier.
"It sounded like thunder and the ground shook," she said.
She said the slide was very forceful, taking everything in its path.
"If we had been standing there we would have been taken with it," Wallace said. "It was like an ocean wave of mud."
On June 13, the area received a considerable amount of rain, which caused a build-up of water, which forced the clay to let go, Wallace said.
Wallace said she is still concerned about a pine tree that sits on top of the embankment without much soil to support it.
"I am not worried about my home now," she said. "Jeff has assured me everything is safe now."