"The cracks continue to widen and deepen," Assistant Town Manager Roxanne Robinson said Saturday. "If it keeps sliding every day, other complications could arise."
Residents are allowed escorted access to their homes to check on them and pick up personal belongings, but no one is allowed to stay overnight, Robinson said.
The Red Cross has provided 18 displaced residents with hotel rooms until now. But the continuing uncertainty of when they can return home has led the agency to open a shelter, which will be ready Sunday evening.
No one can say right now when residents might be allowed back home, Robinson said.
Robinson said portable water tanks were being placed on the unstable hill in case a fire breaks out. The shifting hill has broken permanent water lines, and the temporary water lines that have been put in place don't provide sufficient pressure for firefighting, she said.
There are power lines on the hill that could be brought down by the slide and spark a fire.
"It's definitely dry on the hill, and we need to have a water supply that we can access in a hurry should it be necessary," said Mike Moyer, an official with the local incident command team.
At the foot of the slide zone, two restaurants, a liquor store and a just-built Walgreens remain closed amid a slim but persistent risk the hill could collapse suddenly.
A geologist put the risk of sudden collapse at just 5 percent. So far, only one unoccupied home has sustained any damage. The house is directly atop the slide zone.