House slipping down West Virginia hillside causing concern

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This house along Supper Club Road in Hartford in Mason County has been slipping down the hillside for about three years. (WCHS/WVAH)

HARTFORD, W.Va. (WCSH/WVAH)— An abandoned house continues to slip down a hillside in rural Mason County. The house is on Supper Club Road near the Town of Hartford.

The house started slipping about three years ago. Natalie Staats says her family lived there and were woken up in the middle of the night by the sounds of windows breaking.

"It's hard to even say because all you can do is oh my God are we going to get them out. Your mom calls you and she hears glass breaking and they are upstairs in bed," said Staats.

They moved out but left the house behind. Rainfall earlier this year has caused the structure to slip even closer to the road, and that has residents worried for motorists and school buses that travel the road.

"The town is not allowed to work on private property. It's against the law," said Hartford Mayor Gordon Spencer.

The house is in the town limits of Hartford. Once they abandoned it, Staats' family stopped paying property taxes, and the county put the property up for auction, but Staats says she has paperwork indicating her family can retain ownership of the property if they pay the back-taxes by next year.

"Who do you fine? Do you fine the person who brought it? You're not going to collect anyway," said Mayor Spencer.

"It's sad. We fought the state road. They kept digging into the bank and cleaning out the ditch and we went clear to the top trying to get them to build a retaining wall like they have in West Columbia," said Staats.

As all eyes continue to watch the house, the hope is that it stays put and doesn't get any closer to the road.