Hill slide causing damage, concerns

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 10:39 PM EDT
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CHESAPEAKE, Ohio (WSAZ) - A woman is afraid it’s just a matter of time until her home comes toppling over the side of a hill that’s been gradually slipping for more than two years.

For the past 33 years, Cindy Nance has lived on the hill in Chesapeake with a terrific view of the Ohio River and the Jewel City of Huntington, but now the vantage point also includes a disappearing front yard.

She says the hill first fractured in January of 2019 after extensive rain, and with each significant rainfall since, it’s gradually slipped and fallen more and more. The ice storms in February didn’t help.

James Crockett lives next to two badly damaged houses at the bottom of the hill along Route 7 that were in the slide’s path.

“I’m afraid they’re going to fall into the road,” he said. “They’re pretty bad.”

“I tried to contact people before it even got that far,” Nance said. “There was not that much damage when I was making attempts to get help up here.”

Nance says her attempts to get help at the village, county, and state levels have all met dead ends.

“Excavation and earth movement is very expensive,” she said. “I just did not know how I could take care of it, and obviously I can’t take care of it on my own.”

The slide has already claimed her driveway.

She says the fear is her home will eventually be brought down, and the slide will spill out onto the road.

“I know I’m going to lose my home,” she said. “I’ve lost the value of my home.”

The Lawrence County Engineer says the area is under the village of Chesapeake’s jurisdiction. WSAZ’s messages for the mayor Tuesday afternoon haven’t been returned yet.

The administrator with the Lawrence County Land Bank, which tears down vacant properties, says they won’t acquire the properties at the bottom of the hill because of liability concerns. He says any excavation work could potentially cause more damage.

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