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Saturated hillsides could produce slides -- even after rainstorms end

December 28, 2010 |  7:55 am

The facades of local hillsides went mostly undisturbed last week, but the risk of movement will remain for at least a few weeks until the heavily saturated layers of soil dry out, officials say.

The storm forecast for Wednesday, even if minor in comparison with recent rains, could cause significant damage, or at least push back the drying-out period.

Glendale officials have used the Glendale police helicopter to monitor hillsides and note any damage or changes, said Public Works Director Steve Zurn. As part of their daily air patrols, helicopter pilot Sgt. Steve Robertson and his crew have been looking for any fractures or fissures that may signal a dangerously weak hillside.

The pilots also photograph the hillsides above Deukmejian Wilderness Park and nearby water tanks and report back to city engineers and public-works officials.

Read more in the Glendale News-Press: "Foothills on saturation watch."


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-- Vernonica Rocha, Times Community News

Photo: Verdugo Debris Basin above Oakmont Country Club, in Glendale, seen from the Glendale Police Department helicopter on Monday. Air patrols keep an eye on debris basins and river beds after major storms for dangerous changes that could threaten residential areas. Credit: Tim Berger / For Times Community News