The earth on Mount Soledad suddenly opened up three years ago and threw the lives of dozens of residents into turmoil. While the soil has stabilized, many of those lives are still shaken.
Sandbags and green plastic in front of one home on Mount Soledad Road still serve as a reminder of what happened when a landslide destroyed homes -- leaving others uninhabitable -- on Oct. 4, 2007. One house in the neighborhood remains yellow-tagged to this very day. The owner's brother lives at the residence, with limited access. The homeowners have since paid for an engineer's report and soil analysis, and are still trying to get the city to lift the yellow-tag status so they can fix the house.
"It's stable," said Bob Leaf. "It ain't going nowhere, period, but the bureaucracy and getting through that is a whole different ball game."
Leaf said his sister was on vacation when she found out about the slide on the news.
"Just imagine the human trauma and horror they experienced, they went through, and then mass panic afterward," Leaf said.
After three years there is no sense for the homeowners that it will all be over any time soon.
"They both have cancer," Leaf said about the house's owners. "It's tough. I mean, they lived in -- this was their dream home. They lived here 20 odd years.... I mean, your dream home: How are you going to feel?"
The homeowners sued the city, saying a leaking pipe caused the landslide, but the city won in court and, to avoid appeals, offered homeowners a settlement. Leaf said it wasn't much -- just enough to make sure it wouldn't happen again.