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Moraga Avenue to Remain Closed Overnight

A landslide and downed power lines and trees closed Moraga Avenue from Red Rock Road to Piedmont's eastern city limits beginning about 7 a.m. Friday, April 13

Moraga Avenue will remain closed until Saturday afternoon in the wake of a landslide and downed power lines and trees, Piedmont City Clerk John Tulloch said late Friday afternoon.

"The city cannot remove the debris from Moraga Avenue until the slope above the street is stabilized," Tulloch said in a press release.

"As the slide came from private property, the City Engineer is coordinating with the property owner to minimize the possibility of additional debris falling on to Moraga Avenue as well as limiting as much as possible damage to private property.

"Once the hillside is stabilized and the City has determined that no further damage is likely to occur by the removal of the debris, the roadway will be cleared and reopened."

Moraga Avenue is closed along Blair Park, from Red Rock Road (by Coaches Field) to the city limits, east of the intersection of Moraga and Maxwelton Road.

PG&E expected to have power restored to 55 nearby households by late afternoon or early evening Friday.

The mudslide happened about 7 a.m. Friday at 3 Maxwelton Rd., opposite Blair Park.

Fueled by heavy overnight rains, the slide spread from the canyon's north side across the roadway, Tulloch said.

PG&E spokespoerson Tamar Sarkissian said the mudslide brought down a tree which landed in PG&E power lines. While the lines remained intact, the impact snapped two sets of crossarms that hold the lines at the top of the power pole and also damaged a transformer, she said. The power pole itself remained intact, Sarkissian said.

Tulloch said it took longer than anticipated to de-energize the power lines and remove the trees and other plant debris that were dislodged as a result of the slide.

The clearing process was made more difficult by the grade of the slope and the electrical, telephone and cable wires that remained in place, he said.

sunny bostrom April 14, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Like an icebergs calving, the sides of Moraga Canyon have given way many times and tumbled over the roads. The area has, in addition to rain related erosion issues, underground springs and small rivers under the surface, the paths of which can be diverted by earthquakes. I learned about this from engineers after a brand new Moraga Ave. house buying started to slither down the hill. We are grateful no one was hurt and grateful for the level of professionalism displayed by our Piedmont Police Department and Public Works Department and P.G. & E. Sunny Bostrom

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