Crews layout emergency plans for unlikely disaster from landslide

Crews layout emergency plans for unlikely landslide disaster (Photo: Steven Mack)

UNION GAP, Wash. - Those who live near the Rattlesnake Ridge landslide are now in need of long-term housing.

Emergency Management Director Jeff Emmons said crews are working with Neighborhood Health and Northwest Community Action Center to assist in long-term housing for those who evacuated their homes at Thorp Road.

Columbia Concrete and Asphalt said they are communicating with the landowner next to the quarry to ensure no residents in the area of concern return to their homes until it is safe.

Emmons detailed emergency plans at a press briefing held January 18, in case the landslide does impact homes in the area, or if it spills onto I-82 or into the Yakima River.

Experts said while these scenarios are unlikely, a plan is created for a full blockage of the Yakima River.

In the meantime, emergency officials ask that people do not go near the ridge crack due to safety hazards, and drone flyers are asked to comply with airport rules.

A recent statement from the Yakima Air Terminal emphasized safety for those flying drones to capture images of the landslide.

Drones should stay below 400 feet and drone flyers are asked to notify the airport before flying their drone as the airport is located within five miles of the landslide.

During the press briefing, the Department of Natural Resources said the landslide is moving at 1.7 feet per week, or three inches per day, which is an increase from the 1.6 speed they said last week.

However, they said that is the average of all the movement and the slide isn't accelerating, and it is difficult to say when the landslide could come down.

More information on emergency management and risk can be found at the OEM website.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off