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UPDATED: Hillside Collapse Leads to Door-to-Door Evacuations

Authorities evacuated more than 20 homes on Piscataway Drive Monday because unstable ground has blocked the road and knocked out water and sewer service. Six houses have been deemed unsafe.

Firefighters and other authorities are going door to door to evacuate homes on Piscataway Drive because unstable ground has blocked the road and knocked out water and sewer service. Credit: PG County Fire Twitter Feed
Firefighters and other authorities are going door to door to evacuate homes on Piscataway Drive because unstable ground has blocked the road and knocked out water and sewer service. Credit: PG County Fire Twitter Feed

Updated at 6 p.m.

A hillside and road collapse in Prince George's County led to the evacuation of 28 houses by emergency officials Monday.

The Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management announced the mandatory evacuation of residents from a section of 28 homes in the Piscataway Hills community near Fort Washington because of what the office called "slope failure" on Piscataway Drive caused by recent heavy rains.

According to a news release, the hillside collapse occurred over the weekend, collapsing a portion of Piscataway Drive, knocking out water main and sewer service. Further roadway collapse is occurring Monday afternoon, authorities said.

A large chunk of earth in the subdivision slid downward, felling trees and buckling the road in the 13000 block of Piscataway Drive, said Scott Peterson, a spokesman for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, told The Washington Post.

Water has been shut off to about four dozen customers, included those homes that were evacuated, and officials are handing out bottled water to affected residents who need it, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission said.

Five of the 28 homes that are being evacuated are believed to have been damaged by the landslide, and are being evaluated by engineers, the newspaper says.

This comes after repeated water main breaks in the area since Friday.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, officials said it will take at least two weeks to determine a short term solution for a big crack on the hill overlooking Piscataway Drive, reports WNEW TV.

Six houses have been deemed unsafe, five above the crack and one below, and 22 others have been deemed unfit due to water, road or power issues also caused by the slope failure.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission says a water main and a sewage main in the area are both broken. Crews are coming in to pump waste, and WSSC is trying to get water back to 14 homes, WNEW says. Some homes are without power, and some are inaccessible due to cracks in roads.

Walt May 06, 2014 at 06:58 AM
A well written article.
Marcus Aurelius May 06, 2014 at 12:39 PM
Wow, lets just be happy no body was injured or worse.

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