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Canyon Country Homeowners Continue To Fret Over Sliding Hillsides

CANYON COUNTRY (CBSLA) -- Homeowners in Canyon Country continue to worry that sliding hillsides will take their homes.

The slides have already taken several backyards. At least two homes are yellow-tagged in one neighborhood, two more in another.

CBS2's Greg Mills reported from the location Saturday and spoke to homeowners about their fears and frustrations.

A picnic in the garage is not what the Estrada kids had in mind Saturday. But a backyard picnic wasn't going to happen.

There is, for the most part, no more backyard.

"I first noticed the little bit of crack over there Monday," said Stephanie Estrada.

She showed Mills cellphone video she took Monday.

That evening, Luis Estrada barbecued. The backyard was flat.

And there is now a cliff on their property.

"I'm hoping it doesn't get any closer to the home. Regardless, it's not safe and they've already told us we can't stay," said Stephanie

Her home is one of the ones that was yellow-tagged, one step removed from completely uninhabitable.

As their hillside slid down, their world turned upside down.

Their next-door neighbor's home is also yellow-tagged -- you can be on the location during the day but you have to be gone by sunset.

"We are in a hotel for the weekend, so just trying to figure out where we are going to go after Sunday night," said Stephanie.

She told Mills that two more homes -- down the hill -- are also yellow-tagged.

The families who have not been ordered to leave were told to keep a wary eye on the rest of the hill.

"I was a little concerned but we will play it by ear," said Livier Lopez.

It's an eerie scene. Walls are down, trees are split or taken down, a 7-foot drop where there used to be firm terra firma.

Jeff Gulack has lived here for 20 years and he said the neighborhood was already 15 years old when he moved in.

"They've gone through earthquakes and huge rains and nothing like this has ever happened," Gulack said.

Some wonder if modifications made to the hill made it unstable  when the neighborhood down the hill was built about five years ago,

Meanwhile, costs are mounting.

"Because it's a landslide and not part of our homeowners insurance," said Stephanie.

Santa Clarita officials are keeping a watchful eye as are geologists. Homeowners above and below the hill are picking up the tab for putting tarps on the ground in the event there is additional rain that could soak into the obviously unstable hill.

"I'm hoping the worst of it is over," said Gulack.

Some good news for the neighborhood. Mills reports the Red Cross arrived today and said they would pick up the tab for hotel stays for a couple of days and then direct the family to a more permanent location.


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