COUPEVILLE, Wash. -- Experts will determine Thursday whether a 1,000 foot landslide that has put homes in danger grew overnight.
The properties are located on Driftwood Way and Fircrest Avenue. At least five homes are said to be in immediate danger. Another 35 homes were either under evacuation orders or had been cut off from the rest of Whidbey Island.
The Ledgewood neighborhood is ground zero for what some said sounded like a sonic boom.
“The ground shook. It was like an earthquake,” said Bret Holmes.
Holmes’ parents once owned the hillside home with a majestic view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. His family has lived in this neighborhood for generations. The house is now on the brink of being lost forever.
“It makes me want to throw up,” he said, packing his belongings into a garage. “We lost half of the back yard all at once. Fifteen trees. And we’ve lost another 25 feet since then. I’m just worried none of it will be here when I get back.”
The slide obliterated the hillside at about 3:45 a.m. Wednesday. It took with it a home being rented by an 81-year-old cancer patient. Friends say he felt the ground starting to shake and moved to his truck shortly before the earth gave way, shoving the house about 150 feet off its foundation. It sits perched on a heap of trees and earth, the floor fallen out and the contents of the house strewn below.
A two-lane road in the neighborhood was wiped out and pushed 300 feet down the slope.
State geologists say it will likely be at least two or three days before they will be able to determine when it will be safe for homeowners to return.
KING 5's Eric Wilkinson and Natalie Swaby contributed to this report.