Burien landslide area still not safe as earth continues to settle, city says

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BURIEN, Wash. -- The city of Burien says the earth beneath a landslide in Burien still isn't stable and is continuing to settle.

Experts are analyzing the site and will have to deem it safe before any of the affected residents can return to their homes.

On Thursday, Q13 FOX News saw an SUV bobbing in the Puget Sound right behind the remains of two homes damaged from the landslide.

Five homes are affected by the landslide but the home on the end of Standring Lane sustained the worst damage. The couple who lives there were not allowed back in on Thursday to retrieve any of their belongings.

“I think it’s really sad, hope the Red Cross helps and the neighbors are really good here,” Allen Kaplan said.

Firefighters escorted residents from four of the five homes affected inside the gated community on Thursday. The victims rescued their pets still trapped inside and gathered other essentials.

Two houses sustained structural damage and three other houses were possibly in danger of slipping.

“The area is still dangerous, especially with this new rain and storm coming in. We are not sure what the rest of the day will bring,” said Katie Trefry, communications officer for the city of Burien.

The earth beneath the landslide continues to shift, albeit slightly, so it could be weeks before anyone is let back in.

As for the homes above the landslide, the city says they are safe -- at least for now.

“Everybody worries about hillsides and slides and Oso,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan and his wife are building a home not too far from the landslide.

They can see the slide area from their window, a sober reminder of the risk if the hill in front of their home ever crumbles.

“We spent a lot of extra money doing a structural evaluation and soils report,” Kaplan said.

They`ve also installed special frames under their home as an extra defense

“Mine are steel, 23 feet long, surrounded by concrete,” Kaplan said.

They are anxious to finish their dream home and hoping the sturdiness of their home will never be challenged.