Homes On The Edge; Endangered By Mud Slide

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The home that is perched above Long Island Sound in Sound Beach is now in danger of collapsing into the water below.

    Edith Hotis hasn't slept since her Sound Beach dream house "rattled" during this week's torrential rain.

    "It was scary," the seventy-five year old widow said. "I thought about leaving."

    In the end, the grandmother of ten stayed put in her home -- but her fears have only grown.

    The home that is perched above Long Island Sound is now in danger of collapsing into the water below.

    A mud slide caused by Monday and Tuesday's heavy rain washed away much of the bluff that supported both Hotis' home and one next door.

    "This is a very serious situation," said Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko.  "Both of these homes are in jeopardy."

    Lesko and other town officials inspected the homes Thursday and declared Hotis' backyard deck unsafe.  She can, however, remain in her house with her three dogs, as officials continue to assess the area's stability.

    "Who in the hell ever expected this?" said Hotis, as she fought back tears. "I am in shock."

    Brookhaven officials are now working on a plan to rebuild the bulkheads that gave way in the storm, allowing the bluff to erode. Federal and state aid will be sought to cover the cost, which will be substantial -- money Hotis says she doesn't have.

    "This is all I have to give to my family," she said, pointing to her house.

    "Insurance won't cover anything if my house goes down," she added.

    "Mother Nature wasn't kind to us," said Lesko. "And this is another example of it."