Workers used brooms, hand pumps and hoses to drain away collected water from the black sheeting secured by sandbags in the back yards of homes on Terri Drive in Santa Clarita on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Workers battle landslide through storm

Nearly 2 inches of rain fell on the Santa Clarita Valley in the last 24 hours, and residents of two local neighborhoods are concerned about the impact this could have on a failing slope threatening their homes.

It’s been almost two full weeks since Stephanie and Luis Estrada first noticed a crack in their backyard up on Terri Drive in Canyon Country. Since then, five homes have been yellow-tagged by the city, multiple residents have evacuated and the muddy slope continues to slide.

The black backyard fencing, which used to separate the American Beauty and Trestles developments and the falling slope, is now almost completely horizontal and as high as one home’s second-story window.

Up above in the American Beauty tract, dozens of gravel-filled bags line the Estrada house and surrounding yards, and family belongings lay stacked together on the side away from the puddles of rain that were collecting in various spots.


Workers used brooms, hand pumps and hoses to drain away collected water from the black sheeting secured by sandbags in the back yards of homes on Terri Drive in Santa Clarita on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Landscape Development Inc. workers set up a ladder just to get to and from the sunken levels of the backyards, and those on the scene Wednesday afternoon furiously swept puddles of muddy water off of the tarp and into pumps that would carry the liquid to the street.

There was so much rain collecting on the tarp that some crew members could be seen manually pumping water into buckets so the pumps would have more time to take in water.

Workers used brooms, hand pumps and hoses to drain away collected water from the black sheeting secured by sandbags in the back yards of homes on Terri Drive in Santa Clarita on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

On Tuesday, City Engineer Mike Hennawy said the consultants of the two homeowners associations would contact the city if there were any updates.

No new information was received Wednesday, according to city officials, but workers on the scene said the slope is still moving “little by little.”

The rain is expected to cease for the remainder of this week, which is positive news for the residents and workers who were concerned that the precipitation could cause the slope to give way.

Landscape Development Inc. is expected to return Thursday to continue the ongoing mitigation efforts.

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About the author

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson covers education for the Signal. He comes to Santa Clarita from Long Beach, where he was previously employed by the Press Telegram in Long Beach and the Daily Breeze in Torrance.