Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Geological Survey (NHGS), a unit of the NH Department of Environmental Services is requesting local or state government safety officials to please report any significant landslides in their jurisdictions that have blocked or damaged roads, disrupted drainage or utilities, damaged property, or blocked streams. The NHGS conducts the state’s geological mapping program, and landslide and other geological hazard data will be added to the geolgocial maps published by the survey.
The recent heavy rains have created more natural hazards than just flooding as several landslides have been reported across New Hampshire. "So far we have had three significant landslades reported to our office" said State Geologist Dr. David Wunsch. "we have staff geologists out in the field reviewing the slides and documenting their movement and damage they may have caused so we can create a database to identify areas suseptible to landslides in future flooding or high precipitation events." Wunsch also pointed out that landslides can be exacerbated when the bottom, or "toe" of the slide is removed when clearing the debri, or when trenches are dug adjacent to a landslide area to drain flood waters.
Landslides are relatively large sections of earth that become saturated and unstable as a result of heavy rains and move or slide down a slope. Landslides can cause property damage, block roadways and stream channels, damage utility lines, and disrupt surface water-drainage. Landslides in the United States cause approximately $3.5 billion (year 2001 dollars) in damage, and kill between 25 and 50 people annually.
Local or state government safety officials can report any significant landslides in their jurisdictions to the NHGS’s surficial processes specialist, Dr. Chad Wittkop, at 271- 3915.