Photos: Poised at edge of landslide, home is knocked down by demolition crew

Windows and debris crash down the hillside as crews demolish the final remaining walls of a house
Windows and debris crash down a hillside as workers demolish a Newport Beach home on Thursday.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A Newport Beach home that was badly damaged in a landslide earlier this month was demolished Thursday.

The slide was reported on the morning of March 3 after days of downpours in the area. Photos from the scene showed that a massive chunk of earth had broken off from the hillside behind the home on Galaxy Drive.

Pieces of the back patio had also fallen down the hillside.

No injuries were reported, but the home was red-tagged, city officials said.

A couch, lamps and boxes of possessions sit in a truck parked outside a home   near a bulldozer.
Crews remove belongings and furniture from the red-tagged home on Galaxy Drive.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The homeowner elected to have the home demolished, with the city expediting the granting of a demolition permit, said Newport Beach spokesperson John Pope.

On Thursday, construction equipment tore into the home, pulling down the structure’s roof and walls and leaving little else in the footprint but debris.

Plastic covers a collapsed hillside where heavy equipment can be seen.
With the house demolished, officials say, it should be easier to shore up the homes on either side.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

With the home now gone, efforts to shore up the hillside for the houses on either side could be easier, Pope said.

Those homes also were damaged in the slide and were yellow-tagged, meaning that they were safe to enter but could not yet be occupied.


Crews continue to pump groundwater out of the hillside in an effort to de-saturate the soil after multiple rainstorms.

The side of a house is missing as workers use a bulldozer to tear it down.
The Newport Beach home was red-tagged after a March 3 landslide.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

On Tuesday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors proclaimed a local state of emergency in part due to the hillside’s collapse.

“I am deeply concerned by the hillside collapse in the Dover Shores neighborhood in Newport Beach and other storm events through my district and Orange County,” Supervisor Katrina Foley, whose district includes the Dover Shores community, said in a statement. “My hope is that there is no further sliding on the shore, but if these three homes fall, a cascading effect may happen to the 50 other homes on the bluff, and we must be prepared in case that happens.”

Crews demolish the final remaining wall on the home
The Orange County Board of Supervisors declared a local state of emergency in part due to the collapse of the hillside that badly damaged the home.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The hillsides of Newport Beach were not the only locations to experience damaging landslides in the wake of the series of storms; on Wednesday, four buildings in San Clemente were red-tagged after a slide.


No injuries were reported in that incident.