-- Recent heavy rains have triggered landslides in Colorado Springs, costing many residents hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to their homes.
And many homeowners in the area say they were unaware of the potential risk when they purchased their properties, despite geologists warning city officials and developers of the landslide zones since the 1990s, according to Jon White, senior engineering geologist at the Colorado Geological Survey, who noted that shifts in the land have caused foundations to crack and utilities to fail, creating dangerous conditions.
Now, at least 70 property owners in Colorado Springs are seeking federal aid to help buy out their damaged or at-risk houses, according to the Denver Post.
When asked why homes were built on known landslide zones, officials point to a lack of communication.
"The frustration is that info is not getting to the homeowner before they buy or it’s buried in paperwork,” White told ABC News.
While many home buyers expect their real estate agent to disclose any problems on the property, oftentimes agents are unaware of these underlying problems.
Colorado Springs is now working with CGS to commission a study of the at-risk neighborhoods, a city spokesperson told ABC News, so they can respond appropriately to homeowners’ plea for help.
To avoid these problems, White recommends any prospective home buyer should, “have the house inspected and get your property evaluated by a geologist. If you’re sitting on a landslide and don’t know it, there is a chance you can lose everything.”