Landslide damages 3 Whidbey Island homes

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. -- A Wednesday afternoon landslide slammed into several Whidbey Island homes, and now neighbors are worried about what will happen if more of the hillside gives way.

Glen Poyen's beach house was battered by a cascade of mud, rock and broken trees. Once the slide stopped, a 9-foot tall piece of earth had settled against his house.

"I got propane tanks up against the house," he said. "They're 25 galloners, and they're buried of course."

The concrete reinforcements in the foundation probably prevented the landslide from sweeping Poyen's home all the way down to the water.

Luckily, Poyen wasn't around when the slide happened.

"In one way I feel fortunate, but in another way I see a lot of work," he said.

Two other small beach homes also sustained damage, but nobody was inside at the time and there were no injuries.

Wenoha Smith lives close to the damaged homes with her young son and said the area's been prone to landslides for decades. Like the rest of her neighbors, Smith said the slides become a constant worry this time of year.

That's the price residents pay for living on a bluff with a gorgeous view of the water.

"Nothing you can really do to stop mother nature when it comes to that, you know, no matter what," Smith said.