MARYLAND

Future still uncertain for Fort Washington homes affected by slope collapse

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FORT WASHINGTON, Md. (WJLA) - With their home declared unfit for habitation, Maureen and Brad Bartee are trying to piece together a temporary life in military housing.

"It's just tough with kids and a cat and an au pair in a small apartment," Maureen said.

Today, they made the hike up and down the collapsing Piscataway Drive for a few more belongings, including their child's goldfish.

"We decided to name him 'Landslide,'" they said.

Their home is one of 22 cut off by the real landslide, or slope failure. They were ordered out Monday, and at this point, they and the others have no clue when they'll be allowed back in.

Geologists say, even all these days later, the hillside is still moving. A large crack in the asphalt has been patched, but the asphalt keeps falling in to the still-growing chasm.

Friday, engineers are drilling up samples of soil from deep below the surface. They'll be studied to help come up with a plan to stabilize the hill.

In the meantime, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission is working to try to restore utilities and county emergency, public works and communications officials are maintaining a presence in the area.

"I think the county is doing the best they can to inform us, but it's still uncertain," said Brad.

"We just want to kinda know. I mean, they keep saying they'll let us know in a week or two, but then what?" said Maureen. "How long before it's repaired?"

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