Crews install inclinometer in neighborhood isolated by massive landslide in Santa Cruz mountains

Lauren Martinez Image
Saturday, April 13, 2024
Santa Cruz mountain landslide continues to impact neighborhood
A geotechnical team installed a device to read a landslide in the Santa Cruz Mountains that is still moving.

LOS GATOS, Calif. (KGO) -- On Friday, a geotechnical team installed a device to read a landslide in the Santa Cruz Mountains that is still moving.

Don Ferris and his wife Charlotte live in one of five homes now isolated by massive landslide.

They park their car off Mountain Charlie Road in Los Gatos and use a makeshift trail to hike home

"So when this gets all wet it really is just slick," Don Ferris said.

According to the county this landslide is still active.

RELATED: Massive landslide in Santa Cruz Mountains isolates community with years of repairs expected

Residents in the Santa Cruz Mountains are learning how to manage life impacted by a landslide that's still moving and could take years to repair.

Steve Wiesner, Assistant Director of Public Works Santa Cruz County said they're seeing 1-2 feet of movement weekly since it started at the end of February.

On Friday, a geotechnical team used a drill rig to install an inclinometer.

"It's about a 70 foot deep boring that enables us to see subsurface movement so we can detect where the slide plane is," Wiesner said.

The county says they'll be collecting measurements on Saturday, Monday and next week for the next 3-4 weeks.

"Not only will it measure subsurface ground movement but we'll have instrumentation in there to groundwater elevations as well," Wiesner said.

The data will help crews figure out what type of repairs are needed.

Wiesner said it will also help their case that this damage is part of a larger scope of a problem that began during last year's storms.

Don Ferris was glad to see work crews out there.

"To me it's encouraging because this is some action that's taking place," Ferris said.

His biggest concern - how will the county get the funds to repair it?

"They've said if everything was all locked in, they could probably get it done in a year. But it will probably be a year to two, or three years that we're going to be in this and that means winter, winter, winter," Ferris said.

RELATED: Santa Cruz neighborhood struggling after road access still blocked from major landslide

A Santa Cruz Mountains neighborhood is struggling to deal with the aftereffects of a major landslide that happened two weeks ago.

Ferris said his neighbors are helping each other out.

One of the oldest is 85-years old, one of the youngest is Benji who is almost 2.

Naiana Brum said even though they're renting, they can't pickup and leave.

"We can't go anywhere I mean we won't be able to move anything so we're here," Brum said.

VIDEO: Santa Cruz Mountains home on the 'edge' of creek after storm-induced erosion now red tagged

Following months of storm-induced erosion, a Santa Cruz Mountains couple's house now stands on the edge above a creek.

They do miss having friends or family over.

"I mean my dad I told him - he wants to come in a few months I don't know. I told him you're going to hike he seems to be ok so we'll see," Brum said.

For now it's wait and see for these residents.

"We're still kind of in shock trying to make the adjustments in terms of ok - how do we navigate this? And I think the other piece of this we kind of feel like we're in this limbo space," Don Ferris said.

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