Nightly News   |  March 27, 2013

Thunderous landslide leaves homes in danger

A landslide on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington State took one home with it and left 33 others perched precariously on the cliffs. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> a whole lot of homes are in peril tonight along a beautiful stretch of the west coast . woodby island, washington state . our thanks to the chopper of king-5 out there. a steris of landslides is remaking the landscape. people there have dealt with this before but tonight one area is completely closed off and at risk of disappearing into the ocean. we get a late report from kristen dahlgren.

>> reporter: witnesses say it sounded like thunder -- the ground breaking away, taking one home with it and leaving 33 others perched precariously on the cliff or isolated by the slide after wiping out the single road used for access. no one was hurt but one person had to be evacuated from the home knocked from its foundation. about a dozen others had to rush from their homes.

>> this is all i have. it's paid for.

>> reporter: the remote whidbey island is a popular vacation destination north of seattle with the slide zone difficult to reach rescue crews are accessing the area through property owned by microsoft's ceo whose house is for now not in immediate danger. reporter eric wilkinson is on scene for nbc affiliate king-5 a.

>> we were in the slide zone two minutes ago. we are watching the hillside crumble every three to five minuteses. another chunk of dirt comes down.

>> reporter: one home is less than ten feet from the slide. officials call the ground incredibly unstable and fear there is nothing they can do to prevent the slide from growing. after a late spring storm stalled over the area last week dumping half a foot of snow and saturating the already soaked ground. the forecast is not good with more showers on the way and several homes getting ever closer to the edge.

>> the way the bank looks in the next rain i wouldn't expect to see half of it here.

>> reporter: kristen dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles .