Gaithersburg rock wall collapses, leaves road closed

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) -- A rock wall collapse that happened right on the edge of a group of town homes shut down a major road in Gaithersburg Sunday evening. Quince Orchard Road between Hillstone Road and Pawnee Drive was closed. Early Monday morning, the road remained closed with no estimate on a time that it would reopen.

The collapse happened Sunday at approximately 6:30 p.m. in the Kentlands community off of Quince Orchard Road.

Montgomery County Police say three adults and their pets were forced to find somewhere else to stay Sunday, the ground beneath their homes was unstable.

The cause of the initial collapse of the retainer wall is not known, but the constant downpour of rain did not help. Montgomery County Firefighters could not risk a potential mudslide, so the occupants of two homes were evacuated.

"People around here know about that retaining wall and how it moves over the years and everyone has been concerned," Aleem Sheikh, a neighbor says. "The way the retaining wall is, there is soil movement," Azeem, who also lives nearby says.

"It's been a concern. We live far enough up they haven't contacted us but I know the neighbors down there and they've been briefed on the issue."

Utilities were shut off as a precaution. It's not clear when occupants will be allowed back into their homes. Neighbors say those evacuated stayed with friends for the night.



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