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Officials Release San Pedro Landslide Report

Avalanches and Landslides

SAN PEDRO, Calif. (KTLA) -- Nearly six months after a dramatic and destructive landslide in San Pedro, L.A. city officials have released their report on what may have caused it.

Experts say they can't point to a single factor, but precipitation, irrigation, erosion, residential development and the recent moving of underground utilities -- including a sewage pipe -- all likely played a role.

Residents voiced their concerns Monday night during a public meeting held to address the landslide and how city officials plan to deal with it.

The city says it will drain the water that caused the slide before installing irrigation pipes.

The project could cost as much as $7 million and officials said that they have the money set aside.

San Pedro is also considering several long-term fixes, including leaving the road closed permanently, moving it higher or building a $60 million bridge.

The land has shown no measurable movement in the months since a landslide on Nov. 20, but engineers warn that anything could happen in the future.

The area was closed off back in March ahead of a weekend of anticipated heavy rains. Engineers emphasized that no homes were in immediate danger.

Additionally, efforts to clean up debris from November's slide -- from county pipes, to trees to chunks of road -- will likely have to wait.

"There might be a point when (the bluff) hasn't moved in six months or a year when it might be safe to go in and clean it up," Los Angeles City Deputy Engineer Vincent Jones told the Daily Breeze.

Last year, officials initially thought they were dealing with a sinkhole, but then the city realized a major landslide was in progress.

It forced the closure of a 900-foot stretch of Paseo del Mar between Weymouth and Western Avenues in September.

At the beginning of November, the road was only moving at a daily rate of less than half an inch.

Heavy rain exacerbated the slow-moving slide, and the roadway broke into pieces that crumbled into gaping holes, while other sections fell into the ocean below.

City crews hustled to re-route pipes and water lines beneath the sinking road.

The landslide wasn't the first time Paseo Del Mar has been in danger of sliding into the ocean.

A chunk of earth fell away from a cliff along the 1800 block of West Paseo del Mar, which is less than a mile away.

Other roads in San Pedro slid significantly during the 1920s and the 1950s.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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