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400 foot landslide in Elsmere reroutes power to neighborhood homes

BETHLEHEM – A landslide at the end of Groesbeck Place shortened backyards and forced National Grid to move power poles to keep the lights on.

Sometime between the Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, May 11 and 12, a 400-foot swath of Normanskill clay broke loose behind the neighborhood. No houses were damaged, but the slope that used to roll 40 feet down to a small creek feeding into the Normanskill is now a cliff.

“We were going to put a platform in our backyard so we could enjoy the beautiful view back there,” a homeowner, who didn’t want their name used, said. “Now I am glad we didn’t.”

Town engineers are assessing the landscape to determine the stability of the cliffside that now remains.

National Grid crews worked past midnight on Wednesday, severing powerlines running along the cliffside to temporary poles erected in front of neighborhood homes. According to the power company, none of the approximate 12 households lost power, but the position of the utility poles was a concern.

“Right now, we’re okay,” said Patrick Stella, public information officer for National Grid. The power company may have to redesign how it runs its powerlines through the neighborhood, he said. “We’re just going to have to wait and see.”

The cul-de-sac neighborhood has already experienced congestion from curious visitors. With crews working within the neighborhood, the town has asked the public to stay away.

This story is continuously developing. We will update this article with more information and pictures as they develop.

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