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Locals have mixed reactions to hiring third-party geologist for Rattlesnake Ridge

Locals have mixed reactions to hiring third-party geologist for Rattlesnake Ridge

UNION GAP, Wash.-- Rattlesnake Ridge has people on their toes. The impending landslide has forced 67 people to leave their homes.

As of right now, there are geologists from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources, and one hired by the nearby quarry keeping a close eye on the area.

We've had people contact Action News with their concerns.

“I've just got a question. I'd like for somebody to answer. How many people does it take to watch rocks fall? Had 50 government agencies at the end of Thorp road," said caller Gary.

With multiple experts examining the risk that Rattlesnake Ridge poses, Governor Jay Inslee says he'd still like to bring in a third-party geologist to provide an objective review. Some think it's excessive.

“I think it's probably a waste of money, and I think that nature should take its course, cause God's will is God's will, and his plans for it will proceed anyway,” said Cecil Turner of Yakima.

Tara Lee, Deputy Director of Communications for Governor Inslee, says they plan to bring someone on within the next few weeks. She says the governor wants as many eyes as possible on Rattlesnake Ridge, to ensure the safety of the community and the surrounding area, but they have yet to narrow it down to a particular firm.

William Gonzalez lives in Yakima, and he thinks it's a good idea.

“I feel like it's really necessary. It's important because the lives of people are also in danger. Any minute if anything happens, it could fall,” said Gonzalez.

State geologists say the landslide is expected to move in a southerly direction, and shouldn't impact the Yakima River. But an anonymous caller to Action News begs to differ.

“You should be trying to get Yakima evacuated, because if that thing goes, it's gonna block that river. And then there's gonna be three rivers. And you're listening to them geologists say, ‘Oh yeah, it's going this way.’ It's a lie,” said the caller.

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