McMINNVILLE, Ore. — The land underneath the back yard of the Birman family’s home along the South Yamhill River caved in during heavy rain and wind overnight on January 12th. The property is not stable to live in, so the family has been removing their belongings and is staying in temporary housing.
Tyler Birman tells FM News 101 KXL that they purchased the home in October 2017 and it was their “dream home”.
“Just an awesome area. The house was in the city limits, but backed up against the South Yamhill River and bit of a forest,” said Birman. “We had neighbors, but it didn’t feel like we had neighbors. It was just an incredible piece of land. The view was awesome.”
He says the atmospheric river conditions last week caused the river to rise probably 50′ and it knocked the hillside out from under the house.
A contractor placed temporary supports on the hillside. The land shifted again a week later, snapping off the concrete patio, busting the sprinkler system, outdoor lighting and tearing down the plastic covering the hillside.
The family is staying in temporary housing for 90 days due to an unrelated insurance claim for a flood in their kitchen that happened two weeks prior, but insurance is not covering damage from the slide.
Birman says he’s not sure what comes next. Estimates to shore up the hillside are around $200,000. The entire property was worth nearly $500,000.
“That’s a tough pill to swallow,” he says.
Tyler served the country for 17 years in the National Guard and just returned from active duty overseas a few months ago. His wife Brianne is an elementary school teacher.
A co-worker of Tyler’s at the bank where he works started a GoFundMe campaign to help the family make their next move.