Forget the car dad! It’s a small thing…   Leave a comment

I can totally picture my dad and Steven having that conversation. Anyway, this was the talk of the town yesterday! This occured about 5 miles south of where I live.

Highlights of the article from the Oregonian:

West Hills home smashed in landslide

Neighbors come together to rescue the owner as her house literally falls apart around her
Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Oregonian Staff

A sound like garbage cans scraping across the street rattled Greg Sherwood from his sleep Wednesday morning.

The noise quickly became louder and more ominous, like wood snapping and concrete cracking apart.

Out the window of his home on Southwest Burlingame Place, Sherwood saw the house across the street slowly drop from the horizon. It was going down like an elevator, he thought.

In a blur, Sherwood and his wife, Debbie, raced into the predawn chill to see Kathy Hendrickson sliding down the hill, her house falling apart around her. She was frantic, riding a slab of debris, looking for a patch of earth that wasn't moving.

Next door, Sam Silverberg ran from his house and grabbed an aluminum ladder. Together, Silverberg and the Sherwoods were on their bellies, trying to extend the ladder to a still-sliding Hendrickson.

"Grab the ladder, Kathy!" Greg Sherwood shouted.

The 5:40 a.m. landslide sent the Southwest Portland home about 100 yards down a 45-degree embankment. Down the slope, along Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard, the sliding house — built in 1930 at 6438 S.W. Burlingame Place — hit two other homes, moving one off its foundation and bending it in the middle.

… [skip some content- if you want to read more see the actual article, but this is Pech's editing…]

Neighbors said Hendrickson initially couldn't open the front door, but eventually got it to budge as everything buckled around her.

As the sliding house collapsed into hundreds of pieces, Silverberg's wife, Anne Johnston, called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher that her neighbor's house had just fallen down the hill.

"Your neighbor's house fell down the hill?" the emergency dispatcher replied in disbelief.

High-pitch screaming started in the background. "It's still going," Johnston said, before stopping her conversation with the dispatcher to repeatedly shout "come this way" to Hendrickson.

Johnston then told the dispatcher that she needed to put down the phone to help. She yelled, "Sam, get the ladder!" The line stayed open.

Reaching for the ladder as the silty soil continued moving under her, Hendrickson grabbed the bottom rung. On the 9-1-1 call, she can be heard sobbing after the trio hauled her up the hill to safety.

Downslope, in the 6300 block of Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard, the Chou family was in the middle of its own 9-1-1 call.

Yuan Chou, a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University, awoke to what he thought was the sound of rain. It was actually the first smattering of dirt to give way above.

"But then it started to sound like a crackling fire," Chou said.

Chou peered out the window and initially thought the Hendricksons' house was on fire because sparks were flying as the structure hit power lines. He shouted for his son Ben, 26, to call 9-1-1.

Ben Chou, though, realized what was happening. He told his parents to get out.

… [skip some content- if you want to read more see the actual article, but this is Pech's editing…]

From the street, Yuan Chou watched rolling gravel turn into a wall of dirt and cartwheeling trees. He noticed a neighbor backing his car out of a garage.

Chou thought about the expensive Honda that he had just bought. He told his son that there was still time to get the car. But as he started to run toward the garage, Ben Chou grabbed his father and held him back.

"No," Ben Chou said, "there is no time to be concerned about the car. It is a small thing."

Within minutes, the sliding house crashed into the Chous' two-story home, pancaking the second floor onto the first.

Photo slideshow of West Hills home landslide from Oregonian

You can watch this at your own pace (as well as read the whole article) at the Oregonian, or watch video aerials of what it looks like kgw (local news) website. Pretty crazy thing to wake up to. I'd be totally disadvantaged as a non-thinking, non-morning person. Also crazy is that anyone would think a video that teeny is that useful. Great user experience there, KGW…




Posted October 9, 2008 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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