Rockslide Further Damages Glouster Home

By
Joe Higgins - Athens Messenger Editor

Dateline
Updated Tue, May 7, 2013 9:53 am

Another rockslide has occurred near a Glouster home and officials fear more may be on the way.

Last week, rocks hovering on a hill near the home of Tabby and Christopher Huddy at 19380 State Route 329 came crashing down, knocking the residence off its foundation. Saturday, a large boulder followed suit, making its way through the back of the house and coming to a rest inside the kitchen.

Jacksonville Fire Chief Todd Wisor told The Messenger that family members were inside the home Saturday afternoon gathering belongings when they heard rumbling noises. They went outside and watched as a boulder “the size of a small SUV” broke away from the hill and rolled into the back of their house. More rocks fell to the sides of the home, landing in the yard.

Wisor said the hill is still unstable and with the rainy weather this week, it could get worse.

“We’re keeping an eye on it but it’s possible the whole hill could come down and take the house out into the road,” Wisor said.

The fire chief noted that if the cliff wall deteriorates, neighboring houses could be in danger as well. He said it “depends on which way it decides to go.”

Mark Bruce, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said Monday that he and his investigators had not heard of Saturday’s slide but added that it’s not unexpected since the first slide had not been repaired.

“It’s not uncommon,” he said, adding that barriers were placed against the roadway to keep debris from rolling out into the road.

Bruce said ODNR is drafting paperwork to seek federal mine reclamation funds to repair the ridge. He said because the ridge is a result of clay mining — not coal mining — Gov. John Kasich has to request the federal funds.

According to Wisor, the home is a total loss. He said the area is still taped off so that no one enters the area and that he and other officials make frequent trips by the area to keep and eye on the situation.

While the Huddy family has been evacuated, other nearby families have not yet had to do so. The Athens branch of the American Red Cross is assisting the Huddys during this trying time.

Tabby Huddy was not available for comment Monday.

 

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