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Route 51 closed after landslide brings down trees, power lines

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Part of Route 51 is closed in Moon Township after a landslide.

The landslide, which was reported just before midnight Thursday, brought down trees and electric lines.

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“It sounded like bombs going off. It was loud enough your ears were almost ringing. It almost felt like an earthquake,” said Zach Gent, who witnessed the landslide.

Gent and his family live along Route 51, right where the land came crashing down the hillside. He ran outside to transformers lighting up the midnight sky.

He was the first person to call 911.

More than a day later, you can actually hear what sounds like crackling tree branches as the ground moves.

Route 51 is closed in both directions between Purdy and Stoops Ferry roads. Northbound drivers must turn left onto Flaugherty Run Road. Southbound vehicles must detour around the area by taking Brodhead Road.

Crews from Duquesne Light and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are working to make repairs.

The major concern now is that the land is still shifting. PennDOT’s geotechnical teams are out keeping an eye on the movement by the minute as the road stays shut down for safety reasons.

Police said the road will remain closed until Monday, Jan. 6, until the landslide will be reevaluated to determine whether or not they can reopen it. The closure could last longer than that if more work needs to be done.