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Exactly which state is going to crumble into the ocean?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by tbhracing, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    Sure doesnt look like its going to happen on the West Coast...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_soil_shift_evacuation

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    Homes evacuated in San Antonio as hill crumbles

    By MICHELLE ROBERTS, Associated Press Writer Michelle Roberts, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 8 mins ago

    SAN ANTONIO – Construction crews moved dirt to shore up a group of houses precariously perched on a crumbling hill in San Antonio on Monday as engineers tried to determine why the land below was shifting, causing dozens of homes to evacuate.

    Gaping crevices, some 15 feet deep, cut across several yards as dirt cascaded into a towering stone retaining wall that nearly split in half. Fences crumpled like accordions as crews packed dirt under one home and around its exterior after part of its foundation was exposed.

    One soil expert said the cause of the landslide appeared to be the result of poor retaining wall design, and a city official said the nearly 1,000-foot-long wall in the upper-middle class neighborhood of sprawling two-story homes was built without a permit.

    No one has been injured, but about 80 homes were evacuated on Sunday after a resident in the northwest side subdivision reported that his backyard was sliding down hill. By Monday afternoon, residents in about 55 of those homes were allowed to return after inspections and soil monitoring found them to be safe, said Valerie Dolenga, a spokeswoman for Pulte Homes Inc., the parent company of the neighborhood's builder, Centex Homes.

    One neighbor who was among the first homebuyers in the subdivision set among rolling hills on the outskirts of San Antonio said he was initially told no homes would be built on the crumbling ridge because it was too steep.

    Romeo Peart, 32, said one retaining wall failed several years ago before the current one was built and homes were constructed above it.

    "They can keep the view now," Peart said, shaking his head as heavy equipment stuffed dirt beneath an exposed foundation. "And they paid an extra $10,000 for those lots."

    The development, which was started in 2004, has nearly 750 homes with others under construction. The neighborhood, with houses selling for $250,000, is one dozens that have sprung up on hilly former ranch land as San Antonio grew to be the nation's seventh largest city.

    The near-vertical retaining wall likely failed under the weight of the area's clay soil that readily expands when drenched with heavy precipitation as it was last week, said Sazzad Bin-Shafique, an assistant engineering professor and soil expert at the University of Texas-San Antonio who went out to the site on Monday. Steep, tall retaining walls can hold up if built correctly, he said.

    "It's safe, honestly. We have engineering solutions, but sometimes we do something because we want to reduce costs," Bin-Shafique said. "Many times, it will be OK, but sometimes, it will not."

    Roderick Sanchez, the city's planning and development director, said the builder built the retaining wall without a permit. The city was still waiting for verification that the wall was designed by a certified engineer and built to specifications, Sanchez said.

    Dolenga said the city approved construction plans for the subdivision including the retaining wall, though she said the company was investigating the permit allegation. She said she didn't know if the street with the now-jeopardized homes was added later to the subdivision's plans, though developments are usually built in phases.

    "We've been building out there a long time. This is an unusual circumstance," she said.

    Engineers spent Monday assessing each of the structures in the evacuated area, while fire officials escorted some families to retrieve belongings from the neighborhood. At least seven homes would likely remain vacant for an extended period, said Fire District Chief Nim Kidd, who is also the head of the city's emergency management office.

    Kenny Crawford, 32, asked fire officials to be allowed to retrieve his car and some belongings on Monday, but because his home is directly below the disintegrating wall, he and his girlfriend were told it was too dangerous.

    "They really haven't given us any info," Crawford said. "We don't know what's going to happen. Of course, property values are going to fall."

    Dolenga said geologists and engineers were looking for a cause of the slide and monitoring for any additional movement of the dirt that was sliding at a rate of 4-inches-an-hour on Sunday. She did not know if there was additional movement on Monday.

    Utilities were cut off in the area, and construction crews were moving dirt to shore up the homes on the hill and to protect those below the retaining wall.

    Resident Lakeika James, 41, said she had noticed odd noises over the three years she has lived in her house.

    "I would hear, laying in my bed at night, grumbling and vibrations. A few nails popped out lately," she said.

    She said she hadn't planned on staying in the house long-term, and now after the landslide, the mother of a 5-year-old girl wants out.

    "I'm just going to be uncomfortable and worried for my family," she said.
     
  2. Sharkey

    Sharkey

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    Ha. If you build a neighborhood on a hill, you better make sure all the retaining walls are put up properly.

    At least, if we fall into the sea, we will be properly armed to defend against meskin pirates! :tongueout:
     

  3. major

    major Rejected member

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    I'll still give the points and take California.
     
  4. PawDog

    PawDog NRA Member

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    Seeing as how San Antonio is about 150 miles from the gulf, that's a lot of retaining wall to crumble away!!:rofl:
     
  5. Critias

    Critias Freelancer CLM

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    Hey, imagine that, another thread title and opening post that tries to turn a vaguely interesting news story into a My State vs. Your State poopfest. What fun!
     
  6. glockfanbob

    glockfanbob

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    My thoughts exactly, and of course some how I knew it would involve CA and TBH.
     
  7. scwine

    scwine ^%(#@$^!!!!!!!

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    Yep.

    The wall that was used there is basically round stones mortared together with some back fill in behind it. In my definition it is not much more than just a "wall".
    Now on the other hand "segmented retaining walls" are very strong structures and when installed correctly with the proper use of geo-grid, very rarely fail.
    I hope that the developer gets what they deserve.

    By the way, the home owners' insurance is saying it will not cover this.

    I feel sorry for the owners of those houses directly and indirectly effected by this happening.

    <<< Is also very thankful it was not one of our products involved in this.:phew: I was actually going to go by there this morning to take pics until I saw in the paper what kind of product was used.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  8. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    No where in my posting or title does it say the "C word". :supergrin:


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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  9. glockfanbob

    glockfanbob

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    Did Walmart cause this too? :rofl:
     
  10. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    You know, I bet Walmart's nasty environmental foot print had something to do with it. Good call! Glad to see someone is on the ball here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  11. Critias

    Critias Freelancer CLM

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    I never named a single state in my post, either.

    I'm sorry if you're in a bad mood because your "ZOMG check out my old girlfriend, didn't I used to have sex with awesome women?" thread got locked...but you're the one that brings up California in completely unrelated threads (like that very one, in fact, just this morning, when Fiery Red XIII posted).

    If you don't want the reputation as the California guy, don't work so damned hard to get it.
     
  12. JuneyBooney

    JuneyBooney

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    That kind of stuff happens everywhere. Payola is king in modern society and third world nations.:whistling:
     
  13. Sharkey

    Sharkey

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    C'mon now, you were expecting more in the GNG Lounge?!

    You want serious - City signed off on the permit. I see a nice lawsuit coming but the homeowners are screwed for at least 3-4 years. They might eventually get something - the 40% attorney fees.
     
  14. Goldendog Redux

    Goldendog Redux Shut your mouth

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    I am sure it just earth trying to escape San Antonio.
     
  15. HandyMan Hugh

    HandyMan Hugh NRA Life Member

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    Just you wait! One of these days everything east of San Francisco is going to sink into the Atlantic Ocean. I know just who to blame for it, too. San Andreas, its all HIS fault!
     
  16. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    his has to be a PUN:

    "They really haven't given us any info," Crawford said. "We don't know what's going to happen. Of course, property values are going to fall."
     
  17. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    Wow, why are you so hostile? Sorry if this thread touched a nerve. As for the ex-girlfriend thread, it was a shooting related story with pictures, skeet to be exact. No states were mention and no one cared. I didnt even know it was locked until you just told me.

    I am not the one in a bad mood, didnt mention any states here and just chatting about current issues.

    Can we please get back to the original topic now?




    Personal side note- I hate when people can dish it out, but cant take it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  18. Critias

    Critias Freelancer CLM

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    I just find it frustrating the way so many threads fall into the same few patterns, and "My State vs. Your State" is one of the predictable and irritating ones. What's more, "California vs. Texas" is a recurring type of that thread, and one that routinely ends up locked and full of piss and vinegar. You should know, since you've taken part in every single one of them.

    Now, you can try and be cutesie and dance around it and act like there's absolutely no reference to California in your thread just because you didn't type the word California...but you know better, and so does everyone else. It's tiresome. You couldn't even make it through your own thread without a "put down your anti-California feelings for a day" response to someone over something totally unrelated. Like I've said before, and I'm sure I'll say again, if you don't want the reputation, don't work so hard for it.

    But yeah. It's just a coincidence, right? So have fun in your little thread. Just don't act all surprised and innocent about it the next time the usual interstate bickering starts up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  19. railfancwb

    railfancwb

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    Could the ongoing sucking of fossil water from the aquifer beneath much of Texas have contributed to this?
     
  20. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    Looks like them peeps just moved in from the looks of the sod.