Jim and Charity Marlatt are happy to be in what they call their new old home.
"We are very secure, everything is sound," Charity said.
Last year, they spent several months living on the edge-- literally. A heavy snow pack last winter and a rainy spring triggered a massive landslide underneath their home and their next-door neighbor's home on Porter Mountain. Their neighbor's home had to be torn down. The Marlatt's moved theirs several hundred feet to safety. The process took seven months.
"Emotionally grueling process," they said.
"We are holding our breath at the moment," Stephen Hopkins said.
The slide has put the home of Stephen Hopkins' parents on the edge of a 25-foot cliff. The family is doing everything they can do to protect it from going over.
"We put in a bunch of gutters to control the water flow, control the erosion of the hill," Hopkins said.
"The landslide is still active. Movement has not ceased but has slowed down dramatically toward the top," said Andy Kozlowski, a geologist with the N.Y. State Museum.
When the land first started sliding in May 2011 it was moving as much as a foot a day. But the slide has just moved a couple of inches in the past few months, threatening the Hopkins' home and an unoccupied home next door.
"The slide is not moving up there, but the bank is starting to cave and erode back a little bit," Kozlowski said.
The slide is about a mile long and covers 82 acres-- the largest in state history. It is about 150 feet deep.
"What has been the saving grace for this slide, we have had just an unbelievable year, we could not have asked for a better recipe. We went from one extreme to the other, extreme wet which was involved in triggering the landslide and initiating it to one where we have minimal snowfall, minimal rains and hot and dry this summer. So it's done a lot trying to stabilize and let the landslide come to equilibrium," Kozlowski explained.
This region was hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene. But geologists say the storm had a minimal impact on the landslide.
For now, geologists say they don't know when the landslide will stop completely. But they are telling the owners of the two homes in danger it's time to think about what to do with their homes.
"It's inevitable. Eventually they are going to get caught on the edge of the scarp and fail, whether that will be 10 weeks or 10 years is anybody's guess," Kozlowski said.
"The house is very special to my parents, very sentimental place and emotional place," Hopkins said.
"We just pray a lot that everything has stopped," Charity Marlatt said.
A neighborhood hoping their homes stop sliding away.
Kozlowski says landslides are common in New York, about 400 occur each year, but many of them go unnoticed because they cover less than two acres and homes are rarely impacted.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
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A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
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Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
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Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
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Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
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Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
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Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>