Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Giant Mountain Rock Slide Caught on Video

A Mountain rock slide caught on video on Tuesday has closed an East Tennessee highway with giant boulders, many of which are larger than cars, blocking the road. Officials had already been on the scene because of one rock slide discovered by a motorist at 5:30 AM when a second slide was caught on video.

Besides the giant boulders, many full size pine trees slid down the mountain covering US Highway 64 which runs through the Ocoee Gorge in Eastern Tennessee.

"It's pretty common to get rocks coming down, but it's the size and magnitude of this one," said Don Longworth, operations chief for West Polk Fire and Rescue. It requires very large bulldozer type equipment to clear the road of such huge boulders and trees.

Crews had cleared a single lane through the rocks from the first slide, but around 1 PM the mountain rumbled and the second slide tumbled down the mountain recovering the roadway.

Julie Oaks, Tennessee Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said geologists have not yet been able to assess conditions in the slide area. "The problem is it is still raining and there is concern about the stability of the slope," she said. "We will have to wait until the rain subsides before we can get in there to make an assessment."

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