Officials Concerned About Heavy Rain Falling On Already Unstable Ground

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With flooding concerns over the next 24 hours, fears are rising that weather could cause more damage in areas already weakened by landslides.

Meghan McCorkell reports officials are trying to prevent more damage.

On 26th Street, city officials say they are very concerned about the impending storm.

It was driving rain more than two weeks ago that caused part of 26th Street to collapse onto the CSX tracks below. Now, with heavy rain back in the forecast, city leaders are preparing for the worst.

“We’ve built a temporary burm to divert water away from the face of the slope. We’ve also covered the face with plastic,” said William Johnson, director of transportation.

Workers are drilling holes for piles for a temporary retaining wall. Those holes are now being sealed off so rain doesn’t again saturate the ground underneath the road.

And 26th Street isn’t the only area where officials are concerned about another potential collapse. In Prince George’s County, crews are scrambling to try and save several homes in Fort Washington after a landslide there.

An emergency water diversion system is being constructed to try and stop further saturation of the hillside where those houses sit.

Around two dozen homeowners have been evacuated, but neighbors worry there are still some holdouts.

“Somebody needs to get up here and help them. Their insurance company is worthless. They don’t want to help them because of whatever the reason. But you’re telling them they can’t live here. Somebody needs to help them,” said homeowner Tracy Rookard.

Back on 26th Street, survey crews will monitor the area overnight and throughout Friday to make sure the ground doesn’t shift.

Heavy equipment has been moved to a more stable part of the road as the rain comes in.

City officials are building a temporary retaining wall on 26th Street so evacuees can move back. A permanent retaining wall will take months to build.

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