Lookout Mountain residents diagnose mud slide origination
No one wants a sunnier forecast than residents of Lookout Mountain's East Bluff. The suspected origination of Tuesday's landslide that closed down Ochs Highway for hours. Authorities were back there Wednesday, after residents alerted them that the bluff is still giving way.
"This may be part of what happened on Ochs Highway, I'm not sure about the logistics but it may have started here," says Lookout Mountain, Tennessee Police Chief Randy Bowden as he looks over a new gash on the mountain's east bluff.
"It's a pretty signigficant slide , looks like it's forty to fifty feet wide," estimates Todd Roeder, U.S. Park Service Chief Ranger, who can't confirm this area is the origination for the Ochs Highway mudslide
"That's a possibility, but we haven't determined that yet," says Roeder. who surveys the slide area much to Susan Jensen's delight.
"Absolutely, I'm sure the National Park Service will be happy to take care of this," says Jensen confidently.
But her enthusiasm is quickly tempered when Rangers tell her they first must check their maps to determine if this is their responsibility, or someone else's.
"We got one marker down here on the hillside that is part way down," says Roeder, who assures Susan Jensen's neighbors the fix will soon be on the way, if the slide began on government property.
"We'll have a team come out and assess it, take measurements, see what the severity is and what the probability is of it continuing and make sure everything is safe," says Roeder.
The biggest concern now among Stone Edge residents may be "what's next" as many are worried of another section of the bluff falling with more rain.
"Certainly, we don't need anything like we've had for the past few days here," says Chief Bowden, noting a drier forecast.
As of Wednesday, the U.S. Park Service was unable to determine the actual property lines and boundary, delaying any fortification to the bluff for at least another day.