Hercules homes tagged after landslide


There are visible cracks in the hillside, fences were knocked down, and windows were smashed. A recent rainstorm made a bad situation worse.

Last week, four homes were red-tagged and those families had to move out. Monday, four more homes were yellow-tagged, which gives those families limited time. Over the weekend, a chunk of the neighborhood slipped about 10 feet and muddy water poured out of the saturated hillside and damaged some homes along Carson Street.

Now it is believed the hill is so unstable it could all come sliding down any minute. This has been going on for quite some time. The hill has been slowly sliding into the backyard for the past eight years. In 2006, two homes were condemned and neighbors have been watching the mass of earth push the vacant homes off their foundations.

The city of Hercules does not have an official engineer, so there's a lot of concern about what the city will do about this situation.

"When the hill comes down, these residents are going to have a lot of mud in their homes," said resident Cheryl Rinker. "It's difficult to say because there are actually two slides under there. One is a surface slide and the other one is very, very deep in the earth and according to the engineering department with the city, it's a slow slide."

This drama has been going on since 2006 when two homes were condemned. Since then, neighbors say they have been watching the force of nature swallow up the backyards.

"We've all noticed that the mud is against the wall of the homes. The windows have broken in the back," said Rinker.

Now, the neighbors of this 290 home subdivision are petitioning the city to step in and shore up the hillside because they think they're running out of time.

City officials are also concerned about the homes across the street from the red and yellow tagged homes. The city council is going to address this emergency situation at Tuesday's meeting at 6 p.m.

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