JACKSON, Wyo. — Workers and residents have watched helplessly in recent days as a slow-motion landslide spanning hundreds of yards split a house in two and inched ever closer to a cluster of businesses below.
Experts brought in to assist the town said it was unknown when the slide will come to a rest.
Efforts taken to stop it — including the erection of large concrete walls at the base of the slope — have proved futile.
The concrete walls had been pushed around by the shifting ground and were leaning away from the slope Saturday, when they were relocated to support a make-shift road being built to give heavy equipment better access to the site.
“We’re up against the Earth, and the Earth’s movement is an extremely powerful thing,” Jackson Fire Chief Willy Watsabaugh said.
A sudden acceleration earlier in the week prompted authorities to suspend their efforts to shore up the slope as falling rocks created a hazard. The work that resumed this weekend focused on repairing some of the damage already inflicted, such as a break in a sewer line on Friday, town spokeswoman Charlotte Reynolds said.
What triggered the geologic event remains under investigation.