Woman survives Astoria landslide: 'We're still homeless'

Woman survives Astoria landslide: 'We're still homeless'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – It was shortly before 3 a.m. when Cati Foss woke up to her home in Astoria sliding off its foundation due to a landslide.

Foss, 33, was trapped inside of the home and is still recovering months later after the traumatic incident last January. Her two daughters, husband and brother-in-law were also in the home at the time of the accident.

“There’s not enough words to describe those few minutes of our life,” said Foss. “The basement collapsed underneath me… so, I ended up with a concussion and slammed my back into a coat rack when I was on my porch.”

As the Oregon coast deals with landslides and a potential major earthquake, Astoria officials are hoping federal funds can put their mind at ease.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici is requesting $902,500 in funding for a landslide mitigation project in Astoria that would help protect a neighborhood from common winter flooding or the Big One — the Cascadia Subduction Earthquake that would impact a 600-mile fault located 70-100 miles off the West Coast of North America.

Cati Foss’ home on Alameda Avenue in Astoria.

It would reduce potential landslides by improving drainage in high elevation forested areas. This includes protecting 32 homes from potential loss and another 69 homes from partial damage.

Foss said landslides have been a longstanding issue in Astoria and wants to see it resolved.

“Hopefully, this doesn’t happen again to someone else. Because unfortunately, there’s no immediate recovery from it,” she said. “So, even though we’ve had a really great outreach from the community, we’re still homeless.”

The Astoria resident is still dealing with a back injury from that day and said she is seeing two physical therapists on her road to recovery.

Foss lived in the home for eight years prior to the accident. She remembers noticing a bit of land movement on the property and began looking at landslide insurance shortly after.

“Slide insurance is just completely unaffordable. We were looking at $30,000 a year,” recalled Foss. “It’s like if you were purchasing a brand-new car every year.”

A street view of Cati Foss’ basement seven months after her home was impacted by a landslide.

Months after the slide, shoes and clothes can be seen in the rubble of what’s left of Foss’ home on Alameda Avenue.

When asked what their future looks like, Foss said, “I don’t know. We will have to wait and see.”

The residents of Astoria will also have to wait to find out if the landslide mitigation project will receive the necessary funding to help the city’s critical infrastructure needs.

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