Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Debris Slide | UPDATE

Based upon the number of calls I received from friends and family today, it appears that Montpelier's rock slide made the national news today. This obviously means it was a slow news day across the US.

The full article from the local paper with its hyperbole headline is here.

The key points:
- Nobody was hurt.
- No or little private property was damaged (although some people may have their houses condemned or lose convenient access to their house via the road that runs along the collapsing cliff).
- The decision to tear down the house at the bottom of the cliff a few years ago now seems like a brilliant and possibly life-saving idea.
- False 45th HQ was not impacted one iota.

By the way, back in October, I posted a few pictures of some fall foliage. Well, the ground I was standing on when I took these two pictures no longer exists. Well, I guess to be accurate, the ground does still exist. It's just forty feet below in the middle of the road. The guard rail I was leaning against is now just hovering in the air.

I have no idea what the town is going to do about this situation but I can't believe it'll be economically feasible to build a massive retaining wall to hold up the cliff under the road. It would seem to be cheaper for the town to buy the half-dozen or so homes on the cliff than it would be to preserve the road up there. But, then again, that still wouldn't eliminate the danger for the people driving on, walking by and living along the street below. It'll be a difficult decision.

UPDATE: A blogger who lives very close to the rock slide posted this today.

jds has a post about it too and a cool arial photo of the area where you can see the road at the top of the cliff.

One side story to this rock slide is the retirement of Montpelier's longtime Director of Public Works, Stephen Gray. Gray has been running the public works department in Montpelier for years and years. Sadly, Gray lost his wife to cancer a few years ago and then his son, Sergeant Jamie Gray died in Iraq during the summer of 2004. Obviously, that's a lot for anyone to deal with so Gray decided to take things a little easier and retire.

This was supposed to be his last week on the job and now he has this headache as well as a water main break that occurred over the weekend to deal with. The guy has served Montpelier very well over the years and I can only hope his retirement is more peaceful than the last few years and this week have been for the guy.


Nico said...

I was sitting in a little falafel joint in Tuscaloosa today when that showed up on CNN and thought to myself, "I'll be reading about this on a blog or two tonight."

Flatlander said...

I was surprised to hear tat it was getting attention from the national news. My father even heard about it on the local news in NYC.

Nico, I dropped your disc in the mail yesterday.

Jim said...

I'm just glad that the bluff didn't collapse back when you were snapping some photos.

Flatlander said...

Yeh, that would have sucked. Probably would have broken my camera...not to mention crush my skull.

Seriously, I don't think there was any danger being up there back in October. We've had some big swings in temperature lately and a lot of moisture. So, the general consensus from the drunks in the bar last night was that water in the cracks of the rocks froze, expanded, melted and then fell 40 feet.

Morgan W. Brown said...

Do not know when you posted your update - in which you linked to their blog post on the subject, but did you catch the excellent photo's Gravity (Everyone Falls) posted as an edit/update to their post? If you did not already come across the photo's yet, they are definitely worth checking out.

Morgan W. Brown said...

Whoops, my mistake, Gravity's blog is of course named: Everybody Falls; not Everyone Falls.

K. said...

Man I leave town and all goes south. Glad that nobody was hurt. From the pictures I can tell exactly where it is. Saw it on CNN today in Chicago. Pretty wild.