Parts of Kentucky prone to landslides, geologists say

By: Whitney Wetzel Email
By: Whitney Wetzel Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Washington state may be on the other side of the country, but a landslide there last Saturday morning is hitting close to home. Kentucky geologists say parts of the Commonwealth also face similar threats.

"In Kentucky, we have a lot of landslides that are on the scale of a neighborhood, or a house, or a couple of houses," says Jim Cobb, State Geologist and Director.

Geologists say northern and eastern Kentucky are particularly susceptible to landslides. Because those areas have steep slopes, weathered rock types and thick, weak soil, when they're combined with triggers like intense rain that's when landslides can happen.

"If people aren't careful where they build, they can end up with a foundation, or a house, or a neighborhood that is destroyed," says Cobb.

The Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky compiles information about what areas around the state are prone to landslides. Access to that data is free and available online.

"We don't expect landslides in Kentucky to ever be on the magnitude of what happened in Washington," Cobb says. "But we do want people to know that landslides occur in Kentucky, they damage property in Kentucky and property owners should be aware of the warning signs."

To learn more about landslides, click on the link in this article.

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