4 Families Displaced as Backyards Collapse in Santa Clarita, a Day After Storm Brings Wild Weather to Area

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A day after a cold storm system brought wild weather to Southern California, aerial video showed backyards apparently caving in a Santa Clarita neighborhood on Friday.

Four families were displaced Friday night after Sky5 captured footage of two homes' yards buckling atop hillside in the area of the 19700 block of Terri Drive just before noon, the aerial video showed.

The other two homes affected were on Trestles Drive, at the bottom of the hillside and in a separate housing development.

Stephanie Estrada, who lives in one of the homes affected on Terri, said she first noticed some small cracks around her patio Monday and Tuesday, but the backyard looked fine.

But then on Wednesday, she was doing dishes when she looked out and observed an irregularity in the wall that surrounds her yard.

"I looked out the window and this little wall had kind of fallen down a little bit," she said. “I walked out here to see the palm tree split in half and the bricks falling down over there. And basically a crater just kind of going through the middle of our yard. And it just progressed.”

By Friday morning, Estrada's whole backyard had dropped around 6 to 8 feet. It was the same with their next door neighbor's yard.

A concrete wall and wooden fence were severely damaged, and there were "cracks" in the hillside below, the aerial footage showed.

Estrada said her family purchased their home back in September.

Daphne Guillen, who lives on Trestles, said it's resulted in landslide that buried much of her backyard and patio, as well as their next door neighbor's.

“We always had a feeling that something like that was going to happen, but I never in a million years thought that it would get to this extent,” she told KTLA.

Guillen said she and her husband first noticed the damage at their home on Thursday.

“It was kind of eerie last night," she said. "We were sitting, and you just kept on hearing the ‘creak, creak, creak,’ and then all of a sudden — boom — the bricks are falling down. Every time we came out, more and more stuff was down and more and more was lifted up.”

The homes have been yellow tagged, and residents have been evacuated.

Some of the homes were cordoned off with yellow tape. The two different homeowners' associations manage the four homes affected were calling in engineers and geologists, trying to figure out what to do next.

Authorities have not issued broader evacuations in the area, which is near the Santa Clara River.

It was unknown whether any of the damage was related to -- or made worse by -- Thursday's storm, which brought rain, hail and even snow to Los Angeles County.

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