Baltimore street collapse evacuees on hold

When tons of earth and rock and road tumbled down the ravine in Charles Village, no one was killed, but that's not to say people weren't hurt by the collapse.
 
"How much money is in her bank account?  Very little.  She feels extremely desperate.  She has a child and a baby and two dogs," said Wendy Wu, who was one of 22 residents evacuated from their homes.
 
"My car was a victim of the landslide and I didn't have full coverage," added Nels Schumacher.
 
City leaders met with evacuees on Friday and told them they may not be able to return to their homes for 40 days.
 
In the meantime, they'll pay for them to stay in area hotels.
 
"This is typical city bureaucracy,” said Lee Truelove. “It's not the fault of the individuals trying to help us, but we may be out of our homes for up to a month.  They're offering us accommodations in Glen Burnie when we have kids who go to city schools.  That's all I have to say." 
 
Many wonder how inspectors from the city's transportation and public works departments could declare the street structurally sound almost a year ago.
 
"That's the exact same question the mayor is asking,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s press secretary, Caron Brace, “She wants to know what happened between May 1st (of) last year and what was that?  April 29th?  So that's the question."
 
Still others point the finger at the railroad.
 
"It's always a fight with CSX," said City Councilman Carl Stokes who added CSX does a poor job maintaining its tunnels, rail beds and the property surrounding them. "Maybe their cost analysis, that calculation, says it's better to wait for one disaster and pay for that than to spend the money for maintenance."
 
It's a thought not lost upon the people displaced by the street collapse, since the city says their homes aren't safe enough to return to even though trains have begun traveling the tracks again just below them.
 
"It strikes me as very irresponsible that they're running trains through there, which cause a lot of vibration,” said Schumacher, “You know that's an issue we deal with living on the block, but now that there's no retaining wall and there's loose soil, that's 40 feet from the side of our houses."
 
The city is allowing people to return to their homes to gather clothing and some of their things if they are accompanied by a building inspector.
 
While the homes appear sound from the outside, each of them will have to be inspected from the inside to determine if they've suffered any structural damage.
 
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