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Experts say Rattlesnake Ridge landslide moving slower than ever before

Experts say Rattlesnake Ridge landslide moving slower than ever before

UNION GAP, Wash. -- Experts say the Rattlesnake Ridge landslide hovering over Thorp Road and I-82 is still moving, but very slowly.

Geologists first discovered a crack in the ridge in October of last year.

They said the slide was moving at about 20 inches per week but now, it's only moving at less than 10 inches a week.

Horace Ward with the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management said we don't have to worry about the ridge anytime soon.

"At the rate that it was at 1.7 feet per week it still would have taken six to eight years to get to the southern edge of the quarry," Ward said. "So now that it's slowed, that timeline is continuing to extend."

Ward said the decrease in movement has geologists thinking the landslide will stabilize and stop itself. He said there is an increase in rockfall on the west side of Thorp Road, but that is away from houses so no one is in any danger.

"It's moving, it's not moving very fast so they'll be times where a little bit of rockfall comes down," he said. "You're going to see a lot of dust because it's so dry."

The Department of Transportation monitors the rockfall daily and clears the roads.

Ward said the Department of Natural Resources is continuing to monitor the slide's activity and the management team will be ready if anything changes.

"There's still a lot of eyes on the landslide but there's still no new concern or hazards," he said.

The one question a lot of people have is what impact did the recent small earthquakes in North Yakima have on the landslide. The Office of Emergency Management said the ridge didn't feel the earthquakes at all and there was no impact to the movement.

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