Homes collapsing in Sea Isle City

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Action News took a boat onto the bay to get more pictures of the collapse in Sea Isle City.</span></div>
January 12, 2009 3:41:10 PM PST
A bad situation is getting worse in Sea Isle City, with parts of four homes collapsing into the bay. It all started near 82nd Street on Saturday.

"We heard a crack and it started to shift and my husband and I ran," said Nancy Iacono.

It was Saturday morning when Nancy and her husband went a couple doors down to investigate the strange sounds they heard coming from a neighbor's dock.

"Every hour just got worse and worse and worse," she said.

CLICK HERE for raw video of the collapsing homes.

Within hours, the bulkhead behind two structures along the 8200 block of Sounds Avenue gave way, tearing away docks and the back of a triplex, rendering the homes uninhabitable.

"We're real concerned about the domino effect, you know? We're hoping it stops pretty much where it's at now," said Paul Martin of Elkins Park, Pa. "But we're worried about the water getting behind everything here, and it's going to go from one to the other to the other."

Officials are concerned about the possibility the homes could collapse.

"It doesn't appear at this point that that's going to happen," said Sea Isle City Manager George Sabastano. "In any event, you can't let people go in there."

CLICK HERE for photos of the collapsing homes.

While contractors and engineers examined the damage, some homeowners had moving crews removing furniture from the houses.

Still, the question remains as to how a large section of bulkhead could just collapse.

"It could be the age of the bulkhead, it could be the channel got deeper there, there's a couple of different reasons why it left, but it left!" said dock builder Jim Farley.

The docks were left floating in the channel where the current is fierce and said to be much deeper than when the bulkhead was installed more than 25 years ago. That could have contributed to its weakening.

CLICK HERE for Nora Muchanic's report from Sea Isle City.

"I've gotten calls all morning long from neighbors worried about their homes," said Bob Phillips of Sea Isle City.

The homeowners are financially responsible for the bulkheads that run along their property. So, in addition to the possibility that they may lose their homes, they will also be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.

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