A massive and growing crack in a hillside above an Altoona-area shopping center has prompted 52 businesses there to close Thursday as crews attempt to fix the problem, according to WTAJ TV in Altoona.
WTAJ reported that Penelec, which provides electricity in the region, shut off power to businesses in the center out of concern that a portion of the hill could slide, and take down power lines above the Logan Town Center.
“There is the potential that exists for that mountainside to slide into our facilities and knock those facilities to the ground,” Penelec spokesman Scott Surgeoner told WTAJ. We don’t want to see that. It would result in unsafe conditions for customers or store owners in that area.”
The Altoona Mirror reported last week that the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency last week gave the center’s owners an emergency permit to allow repairs to be made.
Blair County Emergency Management Director Mark Taylor told the Altoona Mirror, for a story published April 28, that photos provided to him in recent weeks show the crack was about a foot wide, but now it’s about 10 feet wide and 15 feet deep in some areas.