Literally living on the edge in Amsterdam

March 29, 2017 11:33 PM

AMSTERDAM - When we tell you that people in Amsterdam are living on the edge, there's nothing figurative about it. People are literally living on the edge of an extremely steep hillside, part of which has already given way.

The problem apparently began beneath an abandoned two-family house at 34 and 36 Kreisel Terrace. Ron Bull has lived next door for more than 40 years.

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"The water line broke," he says, "They didn't really check it."

Bull thinks the water may have been leaking for years and it overwhelmed the hillside, causing enough erosion to wash out what he and other neighbors say had long been a crumbling concrete retaining wall.

"I've been here since '72 so it's been there long before I was here," Ron says.

The mud slide has already taken away some of Bull's backyard property at the top of a steep hillside, but far below Kreisel Terrace it's easy to see the damage and the remaining danger on Forbes Street. Tons of dirt and concrete came barreling into the long abandoned home at 192 Forbes Street, while next door at 194, water continued seeping through the rocks, indicating a clear and present danger, which forced the city to evacuate the family that had been living there.

"We're between a rock and a hard place," stated Jeannine Farina, one of two remaining residents on the dead end section of Forbes Street.

Farina's house dates back to 1965 and she's very mindful of the large crack in the section of the same retaining wall that shadows high over her home.

"It (the crack) is not new," she says, "It's (been there) at least 15 to twenty years and it's growing much bigger daily."

Farina says she's concerned that the hillside might give way, which could topple any of the trees onto her house.

At this point, it's unclear when or if the evacuated family at 194 Forbes Street will be able to return. Neighbors remain concerned there could be further mudslides.

They also tell News Channel 13 they'd like to see the damaged and abandoned properties demolished. Some are privately owned. Some are owned by the city.


Dan Levy

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