Jackson officials to drill at landslide’s crest

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Workers were building a path Sunday to haul a drilling rig up a slow-moving landslide as Jackson officials looked for information to help stop the collapsing earth threatening homes and businesses.

The heavy rig will drill boreholes up to 200 feet deep along the slide’s upper crest. The samples gathered should tell officials about the composition of the formation, the depth of the slide, the water levels and the location of the slide’s scarp, Jackson incident command spokeswoman Roxanne Robinson said in a statement.

“More importantly, it will help identify long term solutions and what mitigation efforts will work best,” Robinson said.

Workers are using barriers that were initially meant to help stabilize the hillside to construct the temporary emergency path. Additional barriers were being brought in Sunday to guard against falling debris and serve as a guard rail.

The public won’t be allowed access to the path, though fire trucks or ambulances could use it to access residents near the part of Budge Drive closed due to the slide.

The slide, which was discovered April 4, has destroyed a house, buckled roadways and parking lots and looms over a cluster of businesses. The slide moved between 4 to 10 feet in places between Thursday and Friday, Jackson officials said.

Emergency workers have tried in vain so far to shore up the slope, attracting a steady parade of the curious and camera-wielding gawkers.

Work over the weekend was also focused on repairing some of the damage the slide already has caused, including a break in a sewer line Friday. On Saturday evening, officials postponed the sewer line work until Monday because of access issues.

Rock and gravel falls were not as noticeable on Saturday, though the high-risk area had not changed, town officials said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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