Grants Pass landslide triggers evacuations

Grants Pass, Ore. — “This is new for us, we haven’t had a slide in this particular area at least in the time that I’ve been here which is close to 30 years,” Deputy Chief Lang Johnson said.

Nearly a dozen homes were affected after a landslide in Grants Pass off of Poplar and Fruitdale drives.

“The fire department came up and talked to me and said that there was a slide. And he said you’d probably be okay here,” Grants Pass resident Jerome Hallin said.

Hallin has lived in Grants Pass for 55 years.

While his house wasn’t evacuated, he believe the work done near his home contributed to the loose ground.

“I figured someday it would go because the way they redid the road here about eight or nine years ago. They put the Poplar drive in and they paved it and they put drainage in, but up behind there’s about four to five lots,” Hallin said.

Deputy Chief Johnson says the rain and snow from the past week is what most likely caused the slide to happen.

With damaged houses and power lines, he’s thankful nobody was hurt.

“A large amount of the hillside came down into the backyard of two houses, actually went into the back bedrooms of one of the homes. Fortunately, nobody was home,” Deputy Chief Johnson said.

Deputy Chief Johnson says a lot of work has been done, but there is still a large amount of debris.

Geologists spent the day testing the area to make sure it’s stable before sending residents back to their homes.

As for Hallin, he’s hoping this drastic winter weather will end soon.

“I hope the weather clears up,” Hallin said.

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