Officials say a sliding hillside in Jackson sped up and slid from 2 to 9 feet in less than 24 hours Thursday. Movement has since slowed back down to about an inch each day, officials said Saturday.
Local News 8 toured the affected area Saturday. The landslide has already dislodged lampposts, uprooted the Walgreens sign and the town's water pumphouse. It has also left bumpy, hill-like formations in the asphalt and made Budge Drive virtually impassable except for heavy machinery.
A house located at 1045 Budge Drive has been completely sliced in two.
"The house is pretty separated and the front house is dropped approximately 6 feet. It's completely separated the house,” said Willy Watsabaugh, chief of the Jackson Hole Fire EMS.
"Looks like a disaster movie,” said Jackson resident Michael Siurua, who's been watching the landslide from across the street.
Chunks of rock and mud continue to fall into the Walgreens parking lot, prompting officials to limit access to that area.
"The only people going in there are the surveyors to get measurements and get out,” said Watsabaugh.
Budge Drive's sewer lines fractured Friday, but officials were able to come up with a short-term fix.
“We've plugged the sewer. So the sewer is now going to start backing up. If it backs up too far, it will start coming up in people's houses,” said Watsabaugh.
Local News 8 is told crews are working on a long-term solution to prevent this. Water flow has also been reduced in case water lines fracture.
Saturday crews continued work on a concrete buttress they hope will help slow the slide.
“The reason this landslide is occurring is there's been a deweighting of the ground,” said Watsabugh. “Anything we can put at the toe of the slide should slow it down.”