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City Considers Lifting Emergency Proclamation for Landslide

The City Council will consider lifting a March 29 emergency proclamation at Tuesday's meeting.

The Hercules City Council will consider lifting its local for the Carson Street landslide at its Tuesday night's meeting. 

The city called the state of emergency in late March when wet weather caused a 200 foot-high on Carson Street to shift and threaten four occupied houses, which were subsequently . Four other houses damged by the shifting earth were already red-tagged and abandoned by the time the city made the proclamation.

“The (hill) hasn’t moved any more,” and more rain is not expected until fall, Hercules Chief Building Official John McGuire said about his recommendation to end the state of emergency.

Hercules joined other Contra Costa cities affected by the March storms in a countywide effort in April to receive relief funds from state and federal agencies.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a proclamation declaring a in Contra Costa County and 18 other counties across the state on April 15, but Hercules residents affected by the slide have still not received aid. McGuire said Contra Costa County’s request for aid is now being considered at the federal level.

In the meantime, McGuire has ordered the removal of a 720-foot-long strip of concrete barricades lining Carson Street, which were installed to stop the hillside from sliding onto the street. The removal process, which started Monday afternoon, will take a couple of days, McGuire said.

Yellow tags will remain on the homes until the city is sure their removal won’t affect the households’ eligibility for relief funds, McGuire said. He added that the yellow tags, which signify that the house is unsafe for overnight occupation, have not stopped most of the residents from remaining in their homes.

On Monday, Hercules Patch left notes at the doors for residents with yellow-tagged homes, but has not yet received any replies. A man who answered the door at one home, but who did not identify himself, said he has stayed in his house despite the slide and does not plan to leave anytime soon.

The Hercules City Council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.

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