Thursday, December 31, 2015

El Niño forecast renews worries about Pacifica cliffside homes

It takes more than a spectacular, vertigo-inducing view down a crumbling cliff into the crashing
waves to make Bart Willoughby flinch.

The planning specialist hired to monitor erosion along the cliffs next to seaside apartments in Pacifica leaned out into a driving rain above the dizzying drop last week and pointed to a pile of fortifying rocks that he said are preventing the bluff from collapsing.

The question, he said, is whether those rocks will prevent violent waves driven by El Niño storms this winter from undermining the building’s increasingly precarious perch.

“The bluffs have been maintaining themselves over the years since they’ve had the rock revetment, but there are places in the revetment that basically have got slumps in them and the waves overtop them and take out some of the sand,” said Willoughby, gesturing 80 feet downward from the back patio of the apartment building he oversees at 310 Esplanade Ave., which is still occupied. “Eventually it’s going to be a problem.”

It has certainly been a problem for two adjacent apartment buildings, at 320 and 330 Esplanade, which were evacuated in 2010 after the cliffs eroded and left them teetering on the edge. Those buildings are now awaiting demolition.


Posted by Steve Sinai

No comments: