Landslide May 30th Was In Mapped Landslide Zone (2018-06-18 15:54:56)

The area of a landslide last month that killed two people was an location that had been identified as at risk for landslides.

The Watauga Democrat reports the landslide May 30th at 201 Pine Ridge was located just a few hundred feet from a significant landslide that happened during the 1940 flood.

According to the report, Watauga is one of only four N.C. counties with a landslide hazard map, completed before the state funding was cut several years ago.

The maps are available, but hard to interpret without an expert, and there are no laws requiring property owners to be notified of the hazards.

When the maps were created in 2005, the North Carolina Geological Survey determined 20 percent of the county is located within high hazard areas for landslides, 41 percent of the county is within a potential landslide pathway. It also showed at that time, 136 structures had been built on the tracks of 1940 landslides.

According to the report, the NCGS says that the maps are “not the final word” and not a substitute for a detailed site analysis. Property owners who are interested can check their properties against the map to determine if they should be concerned, and to contact a licensed geologist for further review if necessary.

Watauga Planning and Inspections has access to GIS versions of the maps that can provide more detailed information than the maps that are available online.