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Landslides Wreak Havoc, Home Destroyed And Roads Closed In Duquesne Heights Area

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DUQUESNE HEIGHTS (KDKA) -- A home was destroyed by a landslide that spilled over onto Route 51 on the border of Duquesne Heights and the West End on Sunday.

Within minutes, the only home that stood at the bottom of Greenleaf Street in Duquesne Heights was gone. KDKA has exclusive video as the home, telephone poles and trees came crumbling down. Trees even ripped through the fence and mud and debris spilled over a retaining wall onto the off-ramp from Route 51 in the West End.

WATCH: Time Lapse Shows Home Collapse In Landslide --


Sunday late afternoon, the homeowner was there going through rubble. He and his wife were ordered to evacuate Friday as they salvaged what valuables they could. He didn't want to go on camera but said they bought the home in the 1980s and raised three sons there.

DETOURS: Route 51 Section Closed Due To Landslide Near West End Circle

"We have residents on Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights asking what they can do, so I'm going to let them know they need help," said District 2 City Councilwoman Teresa Kail-Smith.

"The first priority is to stop the slide and to stop additional damage," said City of Pittsburgh Director of Mobility and Infrastructure Karina Ricks. "Landslides are unpredictable. But from what we've seen we believe the largest mass has come down already so we may see some slow progression still."

Lisa Washington's Report:

It's unclear how long it will take city-hired crews to clean up the mess, but they have to be extremely careful because one wrong move could threaten someone's life. On top of that, the city is also monitoring the homes that sit above the hillside, but at this time, they're not threatened.

greenleaf street landslide
(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Dave Colabine)

It's unclear who's paying for the mess at this time.

"We are going to have to assess the cost and figure out whether or not this is going to be reimbursed by the state," said City of Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.

"The fact of the matter is we need help from the state and federal government prior to something like this happening," said Kail-Smith.

State officials from PEMA will be in town Monday to take a look at the slide and figure out if the state will help foot the bill.

west end circle
(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Chris Kunicki)

Power was initially out to 4,000 Duquesne Light customers. It has been restored.

People's Gas was out here and determined there was no gas leak in the area.

The couple is staying in emergency housing for now.

As for drivers, it's unclear how long the South Main Street off ramp from Route 51 be closed in the West End.

That will affect the morning commute.

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