Heavy rain, a 120-year-old retaining wall and the decision to park on the wrong side of the road spelled disaster for car owners along Baltimore's 26th Street, who saw their vehicles get swept away Wednesday by a dramatic landslide.
A video of the incident, posted on YouTube, shows bystanders watching the road beginning to crumble, until suddenly, the entire thing collapsed onto the train tracks below.
“We stood back and then within a 10-second period of time the whole … it’s like the ground opened up and the cars just kind of slid down and the whole retaining wall just gave way,” a man who watched his car disappear told a local news station. “There was a giant crash and a plume of dust. One neighbor was screaming and crying. It was pretty traumatic.”
No one was injured in the collapse, but 19 nearby homes were evacuated. Officials say the families involved could be out of their homes for as long as 40 days. Residents, meanwhile, say the city should have seen this coming.
"My wife and I haven't been parking on that side of the street for years because we knew it was going to happen," Jim Zitzer, who lived across the street, told the Baltimore Sun. This week's heavy rain -- Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport reported 4.18 inches from Monday night through Wednesday evening, an inch higher than the average for the entire month of April -- appeared to have been the tipping point.
Watch the whole thing play out below; the landslide occurs at the 1:12 mark: