[fosc] more slide news

Janet Broughton broughton at berkeley.edu
Sat Jun 3 16:42:19 PDT 2006

The slide's serious effects have been on the residents of McKillop 
Road and on their homes.  But I thought FOSC might like to know 
something about effects of the slide on the creek, which runs along 
the bottom of the steep slope that has been slipping.

As earth has continued to move down the slope, the northwest bank of 
Sausal Creek has been pushed southeastward.  The southeast bank does 
not appear to be moving.  As a result, the bed of the creek has been 
pushed up in several places, and the creek channel has narrowed in 
several other places.  Today I saw that the two banks have touched in 
one spot; the water has dug itself a little tunnel and has continued 
to move downstream.

Trees and other vegetation have apparently been "riding" on the 
moving earth.  One City official said on Thursday that the mass of 
earth that is moving as one piece may be 40 to 60 feet 
deep.  Although root systems that are along for the ride may be 
intact, some trees are nonetheless leaning.

The City of Oakland has undertaken a number of emergency measures on 
McKillop Road, and it has contracted for an engineering study aimed 
at predicting the future scope and impact of what's going on.  EBMUD, 
the phone company, and PGE have also undertaken local emergency 
measures.  EBMUD also tested some samples of local groundwater and 
found no chlorine, which is their basis for stating that their nearby 
reservoir has nothing to do with the slide.  No one in the 
neighborhood knows whether Alameda County Flood Control has agreed to 
become involved in any way.

It would probably be best not to try to visit the creek in the slide 
area.  Conditions are unsafe.  Also, before going through property on 
either side of the creek, you would want to get permission from the owners.

Most of Nature's creatures seem oblivious to her upheavals here: the 
frogs chorus lustily every evening; the Fruitvale trout is (I trust) 
finding new shady spots from which to pounce on unwary bugs; and the 
Cooper's hawks still glide above the slope singing  their creaking 
songs.  As for people: Miki Raver, whose home on McKillop has 
disintegrated, said that her heart was breaking and yet the sunlight 
on the trees around her ruined house was still beautiful.  I can 
imagine no more beautiful response to upheaval than that.

Janet Broughton

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