Maple Valley landslide blocks portion of Cedar River


by KING 5 News

Posted on May 10, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Updated Saturday, May 10 at 7:00 PM

A landslide that came down Saturday morning in Maple Valley blocked a portion of the the Cedar River, causing some minor flooding.

The Kent Fire Department said the slide occurred in the 21300 block of 221st Ave SE.

Pieces of the hillside continued to slide down on Saturday afternoon. A few trees were hanging off the edge hundreds of feet above the Cedar River.

"Every time we hear these banks falling in we kind of wonder if we are going to have riverfront property," said Richard Sanders.

But on Saturday morning the water inched closer and closer to his home.

"My renter called me that lives on my property and said ‘Hey did you know we're flooding?’ I'm like what do you mean we're flooding,’” he said.

Not only did the landslide wipe away all the trees, all that debris clogged up the river, causing it to overflow.

Less than a mile down river the water level dropped.

"It pretty much looked like the parting of the red sea or something,” said Mike Hollins.

Hollins said the water started creeping around the front of his friend's home, surrounding it.

"You could tell the river had already diverted itself already it was already rushing down the road like a complete river on the other side,” he said.

Residents were lucky the river managed to push through the debris before the flooding reached their homes.

"It's kind of amazing that that whole hill somehow that water cut back through there, I don't know how it could have, but I'm glad it did,” said Sanders.

The King County Sheriff ordered an emergency closure of the Cedar River due to the slide. The closure is effective until further notice and covers all river activities, including fishing, boating, floating and swimming.

The closure is from the Maple Valley Highway (SR 169) to the Maxwell Road at the Maple Valley Highway.

 Video from King County Sheriff's Office Air Support