Environment | Local

Forecast For High Risk Of Landslides Coming True

Northwest News Network | Nov. 19, 2012 5:16 p.m.

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File photo of a mudslide along an Amtrak line in Washington state in February 2011 - Photo courtesy of WSDOT

File photo of a mudslide along an Amtrak line in Washington state in February 2011 - Photo courtesy of WSDOT

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Oregon’s Department of Geology put all of western Oregon on notice for increased potential of landslides Monday. Across the Columbia River, state geologists in Washington reclassified Pacific and Clark counties to “high hazard” for landslides.

One of the first spots to give way in winter storms are typically the bluffs above the railroads tracks between Seattle and Everett. Sound Transit reports at least three slides there Monday will force cancellation of passenger service north out of Seattle through at least late Wednesday.

Washington’s chief hazards geologist Tim Walsh is also keeping an eye out for debris flows from terrain charred by last summer’s wildfires.

“Certainly the burn areas are areas where you would expect there to be a lot of erosion initially because you have lost the shrubbery and tree cover in a lot of places. That will then concentrate into channels and you’ll get debris flows that can come out down in the valley below.”

Walsh says people who live near the mouths of canyons should be prepared to evacuate on short notice.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network. To see more, visit http://www.nwnewsnetwork.org/.

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