6 Evacuated Md. Homes Considered Uninhabitable

After a slope failure over the weekend in a Fort Washington neighborhood cut off electricity and water, six of 28 evacuated homes are considered uninhabitable.

Downed trees and power lines scattered the Piscataway Hills neighborhood Monday, resembling not a road collapse, but rather something you may see following a tornado.

"It's like the Apocalypse, I'm telling you," a resident told News4's Pat Collins. "It seemed like a lot of things happened at once."

Resident Debbie Kutzleb didn't think she'd have to evacuate at first. "I was pretty surprised by this," she said. "When I saw the hill fall three feet, it looked ominous."

Around 8 p.m. Monday, WSSC officials said water came back on for 14 of the non-evacuated homes in the area. 

Six of the 28 evacuated homes are considered uninhabitable, News4's Tracee Wilkins reported.

"We believe that they're in danger of either falling off the slope or being impacted by the fall from the slope," Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources Deputy Director Gary Cunningham said.

"We're just grateful we got the opportunity to move out," another resident said. "The kids are out right now, and we're just back here collecting our final pieces."

A temporary patch has been placed on the road so residents can drive their vehicles out, as well as salvage any belongings they may need. Residents told News4 they haven't been told just how long they have to be out of their homes.

Several county agencies are working together to remedy the many problems caused by the slope failure and to figure out how to secure the land.

"The engineers are taking a look at the instability along the entire slope, and they're going to determine what short-term fix could be made in the interim," Director of Public Works Darrell Mobley said. "It will take at least two weeks time frame for them to determine an appropriate short-term solution to the problem."

A geo-technology consultant is checking the soil to see what caused the ground to give way and determine how to address the issue in the short and long term.

"We're not relying on WSSC or anyone else within the county," Cunningham said. "We have engineers that will do bore samplings. They will send them off to the laboratory, and we'll have an independent study to determine exactly what the cause was."

A temporary reception center was set up for displaced residents.

"I was just joking to the administration I don't know if we're going to be the Noah administration or the Job administration, but we've had earthquakes and things," County Executive Rushern Baker said. "This is bad."

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