SCOTTS VALLEY (CBS 5/ KCBS / AP) — Engineers were trying to figure out Tuesday how to clear a massive rock slide that blocked the only road in and out of a Scotts Valley neighborhood in the Santa Cruz mountains.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Contractors were on the scene of the slide that cut off 32 homes to all but foot traffic a day earlier. However, no progress had been made so far in clearing the slide, which covered Nelson Road and stranded dozens of residents near Nelson Road and Sky Meadow Lane.

Authorities said mud and rock slides were fairly common in Santa Cruz County, but it was unusual for access to be completely blocked.

“It’s a pretty significant slide,” said Scotts Valley Fire Battalion Chief Ron Whittle.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Fire officials indicated that clearing the slide could take anywhere from a day to two weeks. The first task was stabilizing the 200-foot wide pile of sandstone, trees and soil so that it didn’t come crashing down on workers trying to clear it.

Rains forecast for the rest of week could also cause the slide to shift more, officials warned.

Power had been restored to all but four homes on Tuesday, and residents were generally coping well and had not reported any serious problems.

“At this point everybody’s OK,” Whittle said.

Meantime, officials were meeting to develop a plan for creating road access to the homes.

“We have a representative from the county, have some private contractors, a geological engineer,” Whittle said. “They’re all trying to brainstorm.”

The fire district had also been in contact with a some of the affected residents, who were working with each other to create a foot path down from the neighborhood.

Foot access was most convenient through two private properties, officials explained.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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