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CNN Today

Five Homeowners Watch Helplessly as Mud Slides Homes From Foundations

Aired March 10, 2000 - 1:20 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Five homeowners in northern California are literally watching their homes slide off their foundations. They evacuated their homes in Millbrae, Tuesday, after sliding mud started pouring in.

As KRON reporter Karl Sonkin reports, the homes may collapse in a matter of hours.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARL SONKIN, KRON REPORTER (voice-over): A police sharpshooter was called in to shoot out the windows of Salvador Delgado's (ph) tipsy house on Pinehurst Court. Firefighters also smashed out large pains of glass. City officials said it was a safety measure in case the house collapsed. Delgado's home of 28 years is leaning precariously right now with ugly cracks in the front due to the giant mud slide in back slowly pushing the home towards Pinehurst Court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had my computer center over there...

SONKIN: Earlier, Erik Erikson took us inside his home up the block. Mud from the slide has punched a hole in the first-floor wall, and the house is now unstable. Erikson's large family went into action early to move dad, Eric, and mom, Marion (ph), out of their house of 40 years, all the wreathes, religious candles and washing machines.

ERIK ERIKSON, HOMEOWNER: I hate to leave it. I've done a lot of work on the inside on my own, I mean a lot of work since we bought it, just remodeling the whole inside of the house. So it's kind of tough to see this go.

SONKIN: But Erikson says he and his wife are OK, their family is an additional blessing, so as a joke he hung a for sale sign on the house. He'll sell it "as is."

ERIKSON: That wall, it's caved in. And yes, it's not too good, it's not too good.

SONKIN: All day long, little bits of the slide could be seen coming down, but this was just on the surface. The heavy mud wall is oozing down with incredible force. It even hammered a pine true through the rear wall of Craig's Estraya's (ph) home of 12 years. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not going to stop it. Mother Nature don't (OFF-MIKE).

SONKIN: If the tipsy Delgado house doesn't fall over first, Millbrae officials will hire a wrecker to demolish it and then truck it and the mud behind it off to the city dump.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: And two houses at the top of that hill are also in danger of losing their backyards. And good luck to Mr. Erikson, who's selling his house.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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