WA Gov. Inslee gets first-hand look at landslide near Yakima

January 8, 2018

YAKIMA, Wash. — Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee got a first-hand look Sunday at a slow-moving landslide in Yakima County that has forced more than 60 people from their homes.

A crack on Rattlesnake Ridge was first discovered in early October. The crack is about 20 acres in size and about 200 feet deep, the state’s geologist said Sunday.

It’s sliding about a foot and a half per week.

However, Inslee says the crack hasn’t really moved much in recent days.

On Sunday, Inslee was briefed extensively on what is being done to track the slide. Right now, it’s moving south toward a quarry that sits close to Interstate 82.

Each hour geologists are analyzing data from seismic, GPS and laser-based systems to make sure there is no sudden increase in movement. There are also plans to bring in an independent team as early as next week to analyze the slide, Inslee said.

“In this case, we want to make sure we have all the eyes and ears because we want to make sure no one’s harmed,” said Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

“This is 4 million cubic yards of material that is moving. And there’s no force that we have on earth that can total control this. Our job is to make sure that we do everything humanly possible to monitor this risk, to take emergency response as appropriate,” Inslee told reporters.

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