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Slope failure continues in Prince George's County neighborhood, residents still displaced

Monday - 5/12/2014, 7:54am  ET

Prince Georges County command center (WTOP/Kristi King)
An Office of Emergency Management mobile command unit is parked on Cold Water Court at the Piscataway Drive blockade to help residents in the area. (WTOP/Kristi King)
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WASHINGTON -- A slow motion landslide in Prince George's County caused 28 homes to be evacuated last week and land is still minutely sliding as of Monday.

The slope failure in the Piscataway Hills neighborhood of Fort Washington still is being evaluated. People don't know when they'll be allowed back into their homes.

"Unfortunately, the most frustrating part of this is the timeline," Prince George's County Spokesman Scott Peterson tells WTOP. "We will not have a definitive timeline until we get back the geological assessment of this slope."

Peterson shared some updates regarding the landslide.

  • Geology: Throughout the past week, geologists have noticed minor movements of the slope. They've been taking soil samples and doing geologic core drilling on the slope to determine what exactly is going on and determine what will be needed to remedy the situation.

  • Water: A second water pipe failure was detected last Thursday on Piscataway Drive. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission continues repairs on that and continues assessing area water and sewer mains.

  • Power: Some power has been restored, but it's cut off during the day as a safety precaution for personnel actively working on the slope. Power is restored overnights for some homes so residents can run sump pumps and activate alarm systems.

    Full power restoration will occur once county inspectors determine the properties are safe.

  • Residents: An Office of Emergency Management mobile command unit is parked on Cold Water Court at the Piscataway Drive blockade. A reception center at Harmony Hall Regional Center hosts county Social and Family Services and Red Cross assistance.

  • Red Cross: American Red Cross services include lunch and dinners for evacuees at Harmony Hall Regional Center.

Lower Piscataway Drive remains off limits to everyone but residents who must first check in with a Prince George's County police officer.

County officials are working with evacuees on a case-by-case basis.

"Making sure we are communicating with them and keeping in touch with them and answering their questions -- working hand-in-hand with them as we get through this together," says Peterson.

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