Thursday 3 October 2013

Two families made homeless by North Carolina landslide.

Two families have been made homeless after a landslide destroyed their homes in Avery County, North Carolina, on the evening of Monday 30 September 2013. The landslide destroyed about 100 m of Highway 194, as well as the homes which were beneath it. As well as their homes the two families collectively lost five cars, and two horses and a number of other pets have been killed or are missing. It is unclear how many people have been affected, though the occupants of the homes reportedly only out of the houses a few seconds before they were destroyed, and several people are reported to have been treated for minor injuries.

The scene of the 30 September 2013 Avery County landslide. News Channel 11.

The landslide comes after months of heavy rains in North Carolina that has brought flooding to 13 counties in the state, and which are not predicted to stop soon. Local authorities report the state is suffering its worst flooding in 70 years. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall.  A package of federal aid for North Carolina had been agreed on 26 September 2013, but it is unclear how this will be affected by the shutdown of the US Federal Government.

The approximate location of the 30 September 2013 Avery County landslide. Google Maps.

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