Arlington family losing land and home to slide

Arlington family losing land and home to slide »Play Video
ARLINGTON, Wash. -- When Juanita Eanes used to look out at the back yard of her Snohomish County home, she saw the lush land she hoped to live on for the rest of her life. That was before the land started to give way.

"When people would walk inside and they looked out the window, they thought they were looking at a park. That's what our yard looked like. Not the disaster area that it is now," Juanita said.

The land's been disappearing for years, but there was a dramatic change over the winter.

"Maybe it'll reach a point that it'll wash like Oso," she said. "That's what we don't know. That's what we're afraid of."

Keith and Juanita had hoped to retire on their land, but the drop off now comes within the 60 feet of the family's back door. Keith has worked for more than 40 years as an upholsterer. He hoped to have enough for the family to live out their retirement, but their life savings is quickly disappearing into the Stillaguamish River more than 100 feet below.

They're not sure what caused the slide but say it didn't occur until an area fairly close to them was logged. They say their land suddenly had springs that weren't there before and that the water is washing the land away.

KOMO 4 called the Snohomish County Planning and Services Department, who responded by coming out to the Arlington property. The couple is not sure when it will happen, but they know they'll have to evacuate soon. However, the mortgage will still be due.

While he doesn't want to face foreclosure Keith knows he can't afford to pay the mortgage for the property and rent somewhere else.

"I don't want to do that because I can't even rent after that because my credit would be shot, so I'm looking for answers," he said.

County inspectors will be back on the property Wednesday to better assess the slide and help the Eanes' figure out just what their future entails.