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2 families encouraged to leave homes due to Moon Township landslide, lawmakers working on solution

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Two Moon Township families were encouraged to leave their homes because of a landslide.

Landslides are impacting two roads in the area, one is along Purdy Road and another along Beaver Grade Road - which has been crumbling for weeks.

Homeowners said they have lost 10 to 15 feet from their backyards.

Beaver Grade Road is closed because of debris.

Tuesday, the township told two homeowners that it would be in their best interest to relocate after recent soil testing indicated the situation was getting worse.

“Today they determined that these two properties should leave just as a cautionary thing. They are not being evacuated, but we just feel it’s safer to go because the ground is still moving,” Township Supervisor Jim Vitale said.

Channel 11 asked Vitale who is responsible for the damage. He said the expense of the repairs would fall on the homeowners.

>> Busy Moon Township road to close until further notice due to landslide

There is no insurance coverage to help homeowners with this, but two state representatives are looking to change that.

“We saw that this is an incredible need that with weather patterns changing, with the soils we have here in Western Pennsylvania, that there are landslides, and it’s actually very devastating on these people’s homes,” said Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny).

Pennsylvania Representatives Valerie Gaydos and Emily Kinkead have been working on a bill for the last several years that would give homeowners across the state a solution.

“Landslides by and large are not caused by homeowners,” said Rep. Kinkead (D-Allegheny). “It is literally your backyard falling off.”

The legislation would expand a current program for coal and clay mine subsidence by giving homeowners landslide and sinkhole insurance coverage at fair prices.

The pair said it would help mitigate and fix structural damage.

“It wouldn’t necessarily cover the entire cost of a landslide, but the goal is to help people start over if their house is condemned,” Rep. Kinkead said.

Wednesday, the township is hosting a meeting for residents to ask questions.

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