Cracks along the top of Rattlesnake Ridge is causing dangers to neighbors
UNION GAP, Wash. -- Cracks along the top of Rattlesnake Ridge are getting wider, and the county is warning there could be a landslide.
A mass of land on the south side of the Rattlesnake Ridge above the Columbia Ak Anderson Quarry has been moving, causing cracks on the hill.
Senior Emergency Planner for the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management Horace Ward says, his team, Columbia Asphalt and the Department of Natural Resources have been watching the land closely since October after a local pilot spotted a crack on top of the hillside.
"The land has been moving. They haven't been measuring the size of the cracks so much but the land has been moving and I believe it has moved about 10 feet within the past three months now,” said Ward.
Director of Community Relations for Columbia Asphalt KC Klosterman says this is happening due to a fault that is putting pressure on the east side of the hill.
He says it's been there for years, and through time it has been gradually moving, but in recent months it's gotten faster.
Thorp Road between Birchfield Road and Gangl Road has now been closed after authorities decided the movement of the hillside could be dangerous to drivers.
As the hillside keeps moving forward, some of these rocks will keep falling and they vary in sizes, some of them being a foot long or bigger.
Ward says people can damage their cars or get into an accident if they keep passing through Thorp Road.
"Even a small rock could break through your windshield with the amount of momentum that it gets from coming down the hill. People can swerve to avoid hitting something and crash or potentially they can get trapped if the hillside did decide to release and come off this way,” said Ward.
Local neighbors around the area did not want to be on camera but they did say they do not feel like they are in any danger yet, and are only moving their cars inside their property to prevent any rocks from falling on them.
Klosterman says it's still too early to predict if a landslide will happen but they will keep monitoring the area and making sure the community is safe.