- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Officials in Colorado Springs are offering to buy 20 homes damaged by landslides if they can get federal funding.

The landslides in May were caused by record-breaking rainfall. About 40 homeowners in the Skyway and Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhoods have complained about the landslides, and about half of them have said they are interested in a buyout.

The city says if the buyouts are approved, the homes would be razed and the land barred from further development.

Gordon Brenner, the city’s recovery coordinator, said two of the homes on the city’s list have been condemned for human habitation.

“No one can live in those houses,” Brenner said.

The city says the landslides were the largest in nearly 20 years.

The city bought 22 homes came after heavy rains in April 1999 triggered landslides in some of the same neighborhoods, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported (https://tinyurl.com/z82xp4s).

Geologists say once landslides begin, it’s hard to stop them. The slides can continue over months or years.

The money could be available through the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, administered by the state. The grant can cover 75 percent of all costs, but local agencies and private property owners will have to cover the remainder.

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Information from: The Gazette, https://www.gazette.com

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