Mudslide destroys home in Carroll County, Ky. - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mudslide destroys home in Carroll County, Ky.

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LOUSIVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A 200-foot landslide crushed a home in Carroll County, Ky. Friday morning.

No one was hurt, but the threat remains as snapped trees, a thick layer of mud and debris lingers dangerously close to a main road.

You can see where the earth gave way, buckling under the weight of a torrential downpour.

"It's a fairly large translation landslide," said Matthew Crawford, of the Kentucky Geological Survey. "I'd say it's definitely not safe."

The storm's remains still trickle down the hill trees that once touched the sky. Those trees now lie flat in a thick layer of mud: the only sign of the vacant rental home that once stood there is a matted red rooftop sticking up from the debris.

"It's 75 feet across from the top, and it widens toward the toe," Crawford said.

Crawford, a UK geologist, is one of the only people to climb up and get a close look at the damage.

"This whole ridge and steep slopes like this -- we have what geologists call 'creep' -- and it's kind of a naturally gravity-driven slope movement," Crawford said. "So you have this material moving down the ground slowly combined with the factors I mentioned: geology, soil type, groundwater interaction and then a trigger comes along to initiate -- in this case -- a failure." 

A bench -- or a flattop -- where the house was built is actually holding the trees and mud and debris from falling down onto Hwy. 36. The road reopened just after noon on Friday, but the person living in the home directly across the street, and another about 100 yards away, has been told to evacuate because there's no guarantee on how long this will hold. 

We could see the stress on the pile, with tree limbs literally snapping as we were taking pictures.

Crawford says there's only one way to make it safe.

"The material would ultimately have to be removed, and that requires some geotechnical expertise because once you start moving at the base of a slope, you're adjusting the equilibrium again," Crawford said.

County leaders didn't have a timeline for a fix.

"I wish I could say next week, but we have other problems as well going on throughout the county," said Carroll Count Judge Executive Harold Tomlinson.

Their immediate attention is going to be a rising Ohio River, and the flooding that has already occurred.

"We'll monitor every couple of hours, and just see if there's any movement in what we have here," said Tomlinson.

"Is it safe to leave it lingering here if another rain event could cause another slide?" asked WDRB's Golbert Corsey.

"That's why we're going to monitor it."

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