An 82 acre landslide is sure to attract attention, so I wasn’t too surprised when friends from out of state began asking about it or when I saw it mentioned in national news outlets.
NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal… Gizmodo…
Gizmodo is a technology website about consumer electronics. Pretty geeky stuff, and yes I visit it daily. But imagine my surprise when the headline last night was “Nature’s Slow Path to Destruction” and the article was about the Keene Valley landslide.
As you can imagine, this has been big news up here, but I didn’t realize just how big the news had gotten till I saw that. So I decided to take a run around the intertubes and see what else I could find.
First I’ll start with a few photos of our own. We went to see the landslide for ourselves a week ago.
Above is an image of the ‘fracture’. You can see how the land on the left side of the image has pulled away, and dropped away, from the land on the right side.
Below gives a better view of the same thing. This is a driveway leading to one of the affected houses.
Presumably, that was once flat. Or close to it.
Here is Jess standing next to the driveway to give you an idea of the scale of the shift.
While these images are not as dramatic as you might expect – there is no 84 acre pile of rubble at the bottom of a mountain – what it clearly is… is heartbreaking.
We couldn’t shake the feeling that we were seeing a slow moving, inescapable disaster approach these folks. I can only imagine their feelings of helplessness.
The New York Times ran an article about this. It included photos of the damaged houses (credit to Nathanial Brooks of the New York Times).
The full NYT article explores not only the geology of the slide, and its impact on residents, but also points out that insurance companies will not cover damage caused by landslides. It is worth checking out: When Nature Destroys in Slow Motion
Some of the most comprehensive information is coming from local reporters.
WPTZ out of Plattsburgh NY ran the following TV report, but they don’t allow embedding so you will have to watch it on Youtube, here: Mudslide Threatens Keene Homes
Kim Smith-Dedham from the Press Republican produced a two part short series that you can find here: Part 1, Keene Valley landslide still creeping down Little Porter and Part 2, Scientists intrigued by Keene Valley landslide.
The Times Union has put together a few slideshows with some great images by Lori Van Buren, like this one.
And this absolutely fascinating video of preparations being made to move one of the houses:
North Country Public Radio’s Brian Mann has also been in on the action. His reporting has been featured on All Things Considered and you can read the report and listen to the audio here: Slow-Motion Landslide Threatens Homes In New York
Along with this landslide, the area has experienced historic flooding. Together, these events are prompting residents to think about larger issues. Such as climate change, the wisdom of upland development, and how this will affect future real estate considerations.