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Tumbledown Bluffs
Julie Maxey-Allison | 10th Street

It is tough to keep track of the total number of times that our cliffs have collapsed. Just this year the count is up to 10, including the incident in February that caused an hours long train delay. This high rate of failures, exacerbated by the increased moisture from the winter rains, keeps our first responders, the lifeguard staff at the Del Mar Beach Safety Center, on alert.

Chief Lifeguard and Community Services Director Jon Edelbrock reports that the lifeguards are usually the first to be notified when portions of a cliff come crumbling down. They in turn are the first line of communication to North County Transit District, relaying information about small and large failures. That triggers the rail road authorities’ safety engineers who then take over to check and rectify the safety issues. There is no news about when the trains will actually be moved off the bluff tracks. The target date has been put off to 2050.

The lifeguards have posted the many warning signs on the cliffs throughout the affected area to keep the public briefed about the potential hazards. They also patrol the area on the look for any new earth erosions and, when appropriate, will remind people of the danger. Given the flurry of past collapses it seems wise to keep your distance from the cliffs. The signage is there. Take care.



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