Joint Operations Center On Standby As Slide Could Take Years
Officials with the Joint Operations Center for the Rattlesnake Ridge landslide have put the center on standby status because of the potential for the land to take years to slide off the top of the mountain. James Struthers, Chief Geologist with the State Department of Transportation told reporters Wednesday a report from a third party geologist says the slide is likely to slow rather than accelerate. Struthers says they've seen the same thing happen with other landslides around the state. "Slides that exhibit movement over a many year period are not unusual. We have other slides in the state that we monitor and have monitored over a period of 5 to 10 years."
The slide continues to move to the South but the new report shows there's a good possibility rocks and small slides could hit Thorp Road as the slide progresses. The report also says it's fairly improbable that the land will slide into the nearby properties, I-82 or the Yakima River.
Officials with the Joint Operations Center say they'll further evaluate the report and adjust evacuation recommendations for people who have homes near the slide area and who were moved out of the area last month. They say there could be a potential they could get back home sooner than later.