Quake-shaken Jewel Lake homes sink into sand
A cluster of at least 10 homes in the Jewel Lake neighborhood are all dealing with the same serious problem: Friday's 7.0 earthquake appears to have liquefied the sandy ground they were built on.
Foundations are sitting crooked, some with broken concrete and earth around them. One neighbor had to build a ramp to get his car out of the garage because the driveway sank so much. In serious cases, like Yana Rekoum's, the house has pinched off the plumbing, prompting the muni to declare her home unsafe to live in. She's planning on staying with friends.
"It's going to cost a lot of money and people don't have that kind of money just lying around," said resident Dean Cannon, as he inspected the crawlspace under his home.
The sandy ground is broken apart and some of the supporting beams are crooked. Pipes that used to be 6 inches off the ground now rest on the sand.
The cost to repair a damaged foundation can easily reach $50,000 and, like many Alaskans, the Cannons don't have earthquake insurance. Neighbors are looking to each for information on any financial aid that might be available, but nothing is certain.
Still, Cannon isn't completely discouraged.
"We are lucky we picked such a great place to live because everybody has each other's back," he said.
Cannon says neighbors helped his wife get out of the cold and in touch with him when the earthquake hit.
"You just can't buy that kind of stuff," Cannon said.
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