PHOTOS: Eden Prairie home on edge of washed-out hillside - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

PHOTOS: Eden Prairie home on edge of washed-out hillside

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submitted to photos@fox9.com by Mike Williams submitted to photos@fox9.com by Mike Williams
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) -

A storm sewer overwhelmed by rain water in Eden Prairie, Minn., washed out a hillside, leaving a home tinkering on the edge of a bluff over the weekend. On Monday, that family learned their home is no longer stable and must be torn down.

Fox 9 News was told the house will be demolished this week. The city is helping the family with relocation costs while they move in tons of dirt to stabilize the area, and they have pledged to offer the displaced homeowners fair market value for their property.


The broken storm sewer carries rain water about 90 feet to a creek below the hillside, and public works officials say a storm on May 11 started to loosen the soil before Sunday's heavy rains pushed pushed the limits and triggered the landslide.

“The infrastructure isn't all that old,” said Eden Prairie Public Works Director Robert Ellis. "Just had a failure in a weak point, and unfortunately that weak point was on the steepest part of the slope.”


A 15-year-old was inside the house when the hillside washed away Sunday, and he told Fox 9 News the whole incident still seems surreal and his family they can't believe this is happening.

"It's a big shock," Jack Zurn explained as he moved his belongings out of his structurally-damaged home. "Out of the blue, it happened."

Jack Zurn said he was home alone and had been sleeping when the land suddenly gave away. His father then came home and found the hillside washed away.

"Just rain upstairs and shook me, started screaming to get out, grab the dog, and went right out," Jack Zurn recalled.

The Zurn family then watched as the hill kept disappearing before them.

"It just kept going and going and going," Jack Zurn said. "I thought it was going to get the house." 

No one was hurt, but Revie Zurn said that even though they are grateful, it is still alarming to know that her two boys often explored the area that was swept downhill.

"That's the part for me that's surreal," she said. "Coming down the street and knowing just two weeks ago, the dog was running there. The boys were playing -- the memories we had, the beautiful trees. I built a sandbox around one of the trees for the boys in the front yard, and it's all gone."

The other family affected by the hill collapse is staying in a hotel for now, but they should be allowed to return after about a week. 

"In Eden Prairie, we have a lot of sandy soils -- very erodible soils," Ellis added. "This was a perfect storm mixing the two."

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