Crumbling cliff in Pacifica prompts new precautions

February 16, 2010 11:36:03 AM PST
Several more buildings in Pacifica are taking action to prevent the cliff they're on from crumbling into the ocean.

Joan Levin owns a historic home that is on the property that once housed Dollar Radio, the first radio communication tower for ships in the Pacific -- dating back to the 1920's. With the cliff eroding, it may not make it to 2011. Crews are drilling 23, 50 feet deep holes dropping in reinforcing steel and hoping that holds off mother nature for at least a little while.

"To buy her time, it's not a total fix, what it is buying her time. Hopefully in a couple of years they can make a decision. She has a lot of property here, she can move back. They are talking about moving to a house down the road possibly - something like that," said Engineered Soil Repairs Tony Fortunato.

For the past few months, Levin and others along the strip of Pacifica coastline have watched their bluffs disappear one chunk at a time. You never know when it's going to give way to erosion.

"Are you concerned at all for your workers? Your drilling right there and weakening the soil. Couldn't part of that cliff go over?" asked ABC7's Terry McSweeney.

"There is that possibility, but we take precautions and everybody is looking out for each other," said Engineered Soil Repairs Scott Young.

Just south of Joan Levin's house is Land's End apartments; they've reportedly been granted a permit to drop $40,000 tons of boulders at the base of its bluff to stop the erosion there. John Kim has had an eye opening experience in his first two months at Land's End.

"All of a sudden there were storms and it was raining and the ground went down somehow. I guess that is just the way it is," said Land's End resident John Kim.

But for Kim, the disappearance of the bluff makes him feel it's time to move on.

"Are you going to stay till the end of the lease?" asked McSweeney.

"No, I don't think so," said Kim.

"You think you will be moving?" asked McSweeney.

"Yes, definitely," said Kim.

Joan Levin is spending $125,000 for the concrete wall in her backyard -- that is just to buy one year's worth of time. She is hoping that someone will step in to help her save her historical home.