Stafford County landslide: Funds released to repair, stabilize hill

The landslide has already caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to two homes. (Photo: Autria Godfrey)

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors is releasing tens of thousands of dollars to assist two families whose homes are being threatened by a landslide, the county said Wednesday.

Nearly a month after a landslide destroyed their backyards and condemned their homes, the county has released $62,000 to stabilize and repair the hill and provide remediation.

In late September, two families, the O'Learys and the Barnes, suffered thousands of dollars worth of damage to their homes when the hill in their backyard began to give way.

"We are thankful that this bond money can be used to help offset the costs of stabilizing our homes and to help us work towards restoration," Dan O'Leary, one of the homeowners, said in a statement.

The USAA homeowners policies both families own claim that a landslide does not qualify as a covered loss. The state has also refused to make funds available to assist both of the families. Their losses currently total in the hundreds of thousands.

The $62,000 Stafford County officials are providing from a bond taken out against the developer who they've dealt with before.

This has happened three times in the past 10 years. The land has buckled, causing damage to the homes. The first two times the developer came out to try and repair the damage, this time he says he'll see them in court.

As they face repairs that could run into the hundreds of thousands, the family is also getting some support from one local church.

Pastor Mark Miller has raised $40,000 in just four weeks thanks to his congregation at Ebenezer United Methodist Church.

"To help support us and get us through this time is much more valuable to us than those $40,000," Dan O’Leary says.