Vermont family flees home after landslide

BURLINGTON, V.T. (WHDH) — A home in Vermont is on the verge of going over the edge after a devastating mudslide.

The family ran out of the home after a number of trees tore through the roof and fell into the river.

The mudslide happened over the weekend and now the home keeps sliding more and more every day.

“Suddenly it just went,” Norman Baldwin, Burlington City Engineer, said. “And these things don’t go unannounced.”

Baldwin was called to the house after the owners called the fire department.

They said they grabbed their young son and ran when they heard the trees slide down the bank, tearing into their roof.

Now, they don’t know if they will be able to get back in to grab their belongings.

They were allowed to go inside the house for one hour, but officials said it is unlikely they will be able to go back in.

“Probably not likely that they would be able to come back into the building because it’s not safe,” Baldwin said.

He said pieces of the house are falling, which means going into it could be a matter of life or death.

“It could be gone within minutes, all at once — unannounced, or it could be there for days and you just don’t know, and it’s not worth going into the building and putting yourself at risk,” Baldwin said.

While springtime runoff and groundwater could have loosened the soil, any more earth could worsen the slide.

He said it is only a matter of time before the house falls into the river.

“This is just mother nature taking its course, and we just happen to be in its way,” Baldwin said.

He said the city plans to issue a dangerous building order.

The owners, who live out of state, will then have to decide if they want to try to find a way to shore up the hillside or tear the home down.

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