Landslide threat puts homes in continued danger



Posted on December 13, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 14 at 2:01 AM

Lake Washington Blvd closure

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SEATTLE - The Seattle Department of Transportation closed Lake Washington Boulevard between 43rd Avenue South and Lake Park Drive South Monday night because of a significant concern about a hillside that is coming down.

Engineers will be out at first light Tuesday to assess the hill's stability.

Walt Carr has been watching the slope near his backyard above Lake Washington Boulevard slowly slide away.

"This is a little too much. I think the overwhelming rain we had over the weekend caused this," said Carr.

Carr says the maple trees near his fence line, which are now at an angle, were standing up straight just 48 hours ago. That fence line is 40 feet above the boulevard. A large crack was also found in that hillside.

Not helping the situation -- more rain was forecast Monday night into early Tuesday morning. Check your forecast

Sam Leonard lives in West Seattle which had four inches of rain Sunday, helping to wash away the hillside on which his home sits.

"If this keeps going back and starts to expose the foundation of the house, I really don't know what that means for us," said Leonard.

The City of Seattle reports 25 landslides as a result of last weekend's Pineapple Express. Mercer Island, Burien, Kirkland, some of the other cities are also reporting sliding land.

In Issaquah, a neighbor caught video showing a heavy stream of muddy water flowing over a retaining wall on the back edge of the Talus neighborhood.

The back of Jeff Aliment's house is spattered with mud up to the third story and his deck is buried. Tons of mud sit in his backyard and some of it went all the way down to the street.

Along the Burke Gilman trail in north Seattle, Allan Tencer cut trees away from his house all day.  Monday morning, some of the hillside next to the house came down.

"I heard a big cracking sound, and it was far away and it was obviously a tree up the hill cracking. Then there was just a loud thump," he said.

The city has several tips for people in areas prone to mudslides:

  • watch for trees at angles and cracks in the earth indicating a landslide is starting
  • make sure drain pipes and downspouts are not aimed at slopes
  • do not store yard debris and piles of leaves on slopes