San Diego

Valencia Park Residents Await Answers After Mudslide Nearly Wipes Away Their Home

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W. T. Jones’ vacation in Alaska came to a screeching halt Saturday when he got a call from a friend who said, “Your house is caving in!”

By the time his flight arrived in San Diego, he learned it wasn’t his house, but the earth beneath it, that had collapsed, sending tons of dirt into the canyon below. The landslide took out a retaining wall and threatened three neighbors’ homes.

Jones told NBC 7 he and his wife no longer live at the house on Trinidad Way, but their daughter still does. She was home when the earth moved, but didn’t feel a thing.

“Nobody can go in there right now,” said Jones, noting that the city of San Diego’s inspectors had red-tagged the house as being unfit for habitation.

Jones has many questions, but few answers because the landslide happened during the three-day Labor Day weekend.

“The city’s saying it’s not their fault. I don’t know how they can say it’s not their fault when I live where the water pressure is 185 pounds going into the house,” Jones said.

A residential sinkhole put several homes on edge in Valencia Park. NBC 7's Kelvin Henry has the story.

A spokesperson for the city of San Diego told NBC 7 city workers rarely check for water pressure because that’s the homeowner’s responsibility. Water pressure going into residences is normally set at about 80 pounds per square inch. The city’s web page explains it here.

City spokesperson Arian Collins also said, “If the water leak was on private property, it would have nothing to do with the City’s water system, and therefore would be the responsibility of the property owner to make repairs.”

Jones told NBC 7 his daughter’s water bills had gone up quite a bit over the past couple of months, a possible sign that there was an undetected leak.

As of right now, it hasn’t been determined if the leak was from a water or sewage pipe.

Jones will meet with an insurance adjuster on Tuesday. He hopes his homeowner’s policy will take care of the problem.

A spokesman for the City of San Diego said it's up to Jones to hire a soil specialist or engineer to come up with a plan to make his property safe. Until it is safe, the red tag will remain on his front door.

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