Landslides possible with threat of more rain - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Landslides possible with threat of more rain

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Following a period of heavy rain, numerous landslides have plagued the Tri-state area.

The result of one of these landslides is evident at the Western Avenue entrance to Devou Park.

The Cincinnati area sits on a huge limestone formation topped by clay. When it rains in hilly areas, University of Cincinnati Engineering Professor, Jim Albertz says look out.

"The clays are very slippery when wet and that surface, that interface between the clay and the bedrock has almost no strength when it's wet," says Albertz.

Albertz says at some point that rain soaked clay will give way. This is when the sliding starts.

Albertz says the problem can be aggravated by developments at the base of a hill.

"What holds the hillsides up is the very base where it levels out. When anyone cuts into that base to make a wall or put up a building, then all that soil can slide on down because it loses the base that's holding it up," he says.

Individuals living in a hilly area can seen signs that the ground beneath a home is giving way.

"You start to see cracks in the drywall. Sometimes you can hear the structure popping as it loosens up," says Albertz.

Cracks in foundation floors are also problematic.

"Especially if the cracks widen then chances are there's some movement that could be a problem," he adds.

David Stadtlander of Covington says he's seen more than his share of problems that plague his parents' 180 year old home.
"Last year we had a heavy rain it did damage to the appliances in the basement. We just got it again. We've replaced the furnace twice the hot water heater has been replaced twice. The dryer - I have to replace again," says Stationer.

Stationer says he worries about what's going to happen next.

"The Bluffs up there are going to be down here eventually - landslide. The soil is loose up there. You can walk up there when it's dry during the summer and the soil is very loose," he says.

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