Sliding Hillside Forces Demolition Of San Francisco Home

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Two Bay Area homes are sliding down hillsides following a series of recent El Niño-driven rain storms.

In San Francisco, a family’s new dream home has turned into a nightmare. The multi-million dollar house has slid 14 inches down a hillside over four days.

The three story house on Casitas Avenue now has to be torn down. The family bought the house in November and haven’t even moved in yet.

Officials say the damage was likely caused by powerful El Niño-driven storms that have been pounding the Bay Area.

In the Oakland Hills, another home has been yellow-tagged for restricted use only.

Neighbor Kevin Best said he woke up at about 4 o’clock Friday morning when his dog began barking.

Best said, “Usually he barks at deers or raccoons or something…but he was pretty agitated.”

Best grabbed a flashlight to investigate and that’s when he heard a cracking sound.

“Just as I was shining it, I watched all the trees in the hillside just roll down the ravine,” best said.

A huge chunk of property beside Best’s Oakland hills home slid down into the canyon below. Workers have been laying down plastic to try to stabilize the land, but water is still seeping out from underground.

The clay soil has become so slick that on Tuesday a city inspector sank down to his thighs in the muck and had to be rescued by the fire department.

The mudslide exposed part of the home’s support pier, and even though engineers say the structure is stable, that does little to calm Best’s nerves.

On Friday, Best’s neighbors received the news that their foundation is separating and that their house has been yellow-tagged for restricted use only.

Drains are being installed to channel the flowing water and a lot of work will have to be done when things dry out.

Best said he retired to his house because of its spectacular views and said he doesn’t want to leave. But just the same, he keeps a bag packed and important items close by in case he has to get out quick.

“I’ve already seen what Mother Nature can do…and so I’m not putting anything past her,” Best said.

More from Ken Bastida
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