WATCH: Landslides Leave House at Risk of Collapse Into River | NECN
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WATCH: Landslides Leave House at Risk of Collapse Into River

Earth continues to fall into the Winooski River throughout the day Monday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Earth continues to fall into the Winooski River throughout the day Monday (Published Monday, May 23, 2016)

    A home in Burlington, Vermont, the state's largest city, is dangerously close to falling into the Winooski River, following a series of landslides.

    "It was scary," said Wayne Gingras, who was fishing on the river Monday as some soil and stone tumbled into the water. "That was a huge chunk of earth to come down."

    Sunday morning, a much larger cave-in left the home at 292 Plattsburgh Avenue teetering on the brink of the river.

    "If you were out in the back yard when that [landslide] happened, it wouldn't have been good," observed Battalion Chief Scott Crady of the Burlington Fire Dept.

    Crady said the family renting the house was inside at the time, but made it out safely with their young child.

    Crady noted that structural engineers gave the family the OK Sunday to quickly remove some valuables, before they evacuated and moved in with relatives.

    The very sandy earth continued to crumble throughout the day Monday.

    "It's just out of the blue; there wasn't a big rain event or anything like that," noted Gary Urich of the Vermont Environmental Compliance Division, who was at the river Monday researching the conditions on behalf of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

    Urich said river and shoreline scientists with the agency would be working on a response plan, to be ready in case the home falls into the river.

    Necn hopped a ride on a neighbor's pleasure boat to take a closer look, noticing how steep the embankment now is; and how trees now in the river once stood way up in the yard. Those trees appeared to have damaged the house's roof as they fell down when their footing collapsed.

    "I wouldn't want to go back in there, that's for sure," said Jane Ewing of Burlington, who was checking out the damage to the land and house from her boat. "It's very sad."

    Back on shore, utilities cut service to the property, and city officials were checking out how much land vanished.

    "Nature's going to do what it does," Gingras said. "I'm just glad everyone's all right. That's the important thing."

    Necn affiliate WPTZ-TV spoke to a member of the family renting the house. She said the experience of evacuating the home was very traumatic, but declined to talk about it on camera with the two news stations.

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