Nightly News   |  April 19, 2014

Wyoming Faces Mudslide Threat

A western Wyoming resort town faces a mudslide threat.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> tonight, there is a growing threat here at home. a landslide in the west is threatening one wyoming resort town . here is joe fryer.

>> reporter: it's a hazard moving in slow motion , a landslide now starting to pick up speed ripping a vacant home in half.

>> my buddy is like dude, we're watching that housebreak apart right now, get down here.

>> reporter: for two weeks the resort town of jackson, wyoming kept an eye on this hillside. the earth is buckling beneath the parking lot of a new drugstore as more rocks and gravel tumble down the slope with geologists warning the chucks could get bigger. they are trying to stabilize the hill, several homes remain evacuated with no end in sight.

>> this is a big deal for the town.

>> reporter: across the country, the u.s. gee logical survey says there are hundreds and thousands of mudslides and landslides every year.

>> almost every citizen in the united states could potentially experience a landslide.

>> reporter: friday a landslide near oakland took out several trees knocking out power to hundreds. last month a landslide near oso, washington. on average landslides kill 25 to 50 people per year and cause $1 billion in damage. they are caused by river erosion , heavy rains and snow melt , earthquakes and land development . landslides are especially common on hills with steep slopes and a history of slides.

>> like many other natural hazards , they actually do endanger people's lives occasionally and we need to sit up and pay attention.

>> reporter: it's still unclear what is behind this slow mover in wyoming where the threat only continues to grow. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles .