"We think that we'll be able to have our equipment out of there. So if everything holds up, we are going to, our best case scenario is that we can get some access up there by the end of next week. " Lt. Cole Nethercott, Jackson Police Department
The nearly hundred residents, who've been stranded since April 9th, may finally be coming home.
Last week this time the landslide was moving at about a foot to a foot and a half a day, but has since slowed down to a ½ inch and right not its own worst enemy is itself.
George Machan, with Landslide Technologies says, "As it moves forward it builds up a tow it gets higher, which means it does increase the strength at the toe. So it's forming its own stability. "
The decrease in speed has allowed crews to catch up and drill four bore holes into the soil to determine where and when the landslide moves. "It'll be the different types of material that are in the slide and underneath the slide. The instruments will verify exactly how deep it's moving and how fast it's moving. It then gives us more information. The geometry the real size of it, the angle that it's moving because the steeper the angle affects the overall stability and how we might mitigate it," Machan said.
Sometimes it’s best to go up and get a bird’s eye view of the landscape. "We're looking at the imagery. I haven't studied it in detail, but it's going to be very good resource information because it gives us a very close look at it from a lot of different angles in the air," Machan said.
There may be light at the end of the tunnel, as early as next week. Lt. Cole Nethercott, with the Jackson Police Department says, "We think that we'll be able to have our equipment out of there. So if everything holds up, we are going to, our best case scenario is that we can get some access up there by the end of next week. "
The main goal, right now, is to get residents back into their homes, but in doing so crews may have to readdress the issue later. "Now we're all thinking about what comes next is it a middle term solution, is it a long term solution and that's a constant dialogue with other people," Machan said.
Once back, residents may come across a whole other issue in itself. "There are some utility issues. To my understanding there's no power there and there won't be for a long period of time based on the infrastructure that was damaged. So there's going to have to be some agreements between the property owners and the public utility or valley to get some sort of power there,” Nethercott said.
Total cost is upwards of half a million dollars, but it’s not all going to fall back on the city. Assistant Town Manager Roxanne Robinson says, "Direct cost to the town will be less because that includes all wages, all personnel working on the site, all fill in material. So in terms of the town cost, we are currently paying salary to people that are currently working anyway. So the town cost would be less than that."
Governor Mead is set to visit Jackson early next week to get a glimpse at what the town is going through.