Cluster of Jewel Lake homes significantly damaged in earthquake

Published: Dec. 6, 2018 at 7:40 PM AKST
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Several neighboring houses in a Jewel Lake neighborhood have been flagged as unsafe for permanent dwelling after all suffering similar damage in last week's magnitude 7.0 earthquake, and now residents want answers to why all the homes on their street suffered the same fate.

Each of the homes sunk between six and eight inches since the earthquake, and some neighbors also experienced bursting waterlines, structural damage in crawlspaces and warping doors and windows.

There were even reports by residents of so-called "sand volcanoes."

Now the neighbors are joining forces to try and figure out why their area alone took such a hard hit.

"We've started a group together," said Matthew Robinson, one of the affected homeowners. "We are actually having a meeting to get all of the people in our circle on the same page. there's something else going on here and it needs to be figured out."

Another resident impacted by the shake up was Dean Cannon.

"For someone to come in and just say 'you can't be here,' it's a difficult pill to swallow ," Cannon said, though acknowledged the risk to the safety of residents. "I understand why they had to do it."

The neighbors attended yesterday's emergency public assistance meeting, but they're still left with questions about their homes, and the safety of their families.

"Our neighbors, at least three of them, have been here for over 25 years," Robinson said. "My concern is, we spend all this money to pick all these houses back up, but it's not going to do us any good if they fall right back down."

For now, those yellow stickers from the city aren't enforceable, but residents say they don't know how or when they'll be able to feel safe in their homes again.

"Every time we get another one of these little quakes, the house sinks lower in the dirt," Robinson said.