Protecting property from landslide damage


BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — They won’t feel it when it happens, but homeowners are sure to feel it in their pocketbooks if they’re property succumbs to a landslide.  

“It was a scenario where there wasn’t a finger to point. It was mother nature and unfortunately we can’t control that,” said Managing Partner at Norman Side Country Club David Hostig.

Hostig said he was just catching his stride at the fairly new club in 2015 when a landslide led to years of legal battles.  

“I got more of a geotechnical background than I ever wanted,” Hostig said.

This and another big landslide, last week, impacted people near the Normans Kill in Bethlehem. The town said there’s not much they can do for older developments.  

“For new development, a few years ago, we created a steep slope setback rule,” said Town Supervisor David VanLuven.  

If a location is proposed in a “steep slope area,” a geotechnical engineer will be brought in to ensure construction won’t make the slope less stable, possibly leading to a landslide.  

“It’s about insuring a property is safe by planning ahead and building ahead,” VanLuven said.  

But what about older properties? This as landslides in the Capital Region aren’t isolated to Bethlehem.  

“Owning a property can unfortunately be risky,” said Insurance Agent Andrew Pope.  

Pope said flood insurance is likely to save a homeowner, but it’s also a type of insurance people don’t buy unless they have to.   

“I would recommend every homeowner at least get a quote, so they would know what the cost would be, and they can decide if they think, themselves, that it’s worth it,” Pope said.   

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