Mudslide destroys Carroll Co. house
Saturday, April 05, 2014 5:00 AM
A large landslide Friday morning destroyed a Carroll County, Ky., home and closed the state highway at the bottom of the hill for nearly seven hours.
The red roof is all that remains of a Carroll County home after a landslide from above buried the house under mud and debris. (Staff photo by Seth Grundhoeferfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Mud, rocks and debris broke away a ledge toward the top of the hill on KY 36 near Notch Lick Road before sliding down and flattening a rental home and small building owned by Sam Scott, said Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold "Shorty" Tomlinson. The slide was reported to emergency dispatchers around 7 a.m.
The home was vacant, and no injuries were reported.
Carroll County Emergency Management Director Ed Webb said the weight of the mud and debris mashed the house but never caused the structure itself to slide.
Matt Crawford, a geologist from the Kentucky Geological Survey in Lexington, surveyed the slide later in the day to determine stability in the area. He attributed the landslide to the steep slope, shale bedrock and clay soil, which became slick and gave way after heavy rainfall in Carroll County over the last few days.
Although landslides are quite common in northern Kentucky, the slide in Carroll County was on a larger scale than what he usually sees, he said.
The slide measured about 75 to 100 foot wide and about 200 foot long.
Carroll County officials couldn't remember a landslide of this size falling away from a hillside before. Tomlinson and Webb said smaller landslides had happened over the years, but nothing close to the size of Friday's slide.
Any additional rainfall also could play a factor into whether more mud and debris could slide.
"There is a potential for it to happen again," Crawford said. "The slide's not stable."
He doesn't believe there is any danger to traffic that may be traveling in the area.
"That house actually blocked (the slide) from getting to the road," Crawford said.
Officials have asked residents living in homes above the slide and below the slide area to stay elsewhere this weekend as a precaution.
County officials plan to monitor the area through the weekend and could close KY 36 to traffic again if more mud and debris fall from the hillside, Webb said.
"It's going to depend on the amount of rain we get," Crawford said. "We don't feel like anyone traveling that road is in any imminent danger."
Tomlinson plans to contact services early next week to remove the debris and secure the hillside.
"We're hoping it'll stabilize if we don't get more rain," he said.
Another landslide also moved mud and debris into the roadway on Coopers Bottom Road in Trimble County on Thursday morning. Trimble County Judge-Executive Jerry Powell said debris filled ditches and culverts while causing some damage to the roadway.
The road reopened to traffic after county crews cleaned debris away.
More information about landslides in Kentucky is available on the Kentucky Geological Survey website at www.uky.edu/KGS.