doc martens uk ebay Officials say it’s OK to go back to homes at the base of Rattlesnake Ridge
Dozens of residents evacuated from their homes at the base of Rattlesnake Ridge where a 20 acre mass is creeping down the hillside were cleared to return Wednesday as emergency officials begin planning for a more drawn out, less intense landslide.
Following the release of a report Tuesday that concluded the roughly 4 million cubic yards of rock and dirt could continue creeping down the ridge for years, if not decades, officials say the next step is weighing the costs and benefits of monitoring the ridge over a long period.
Summer Derrey, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said the department will need to review the report compiled by Seattle based consulting firm Wyllie Norrish Rock Engineers before much planning can be decided. An official with the state Department of Natural Resources said the agency would do the same.
However, Derrey said the 44 shipping containers the department placed between Thorp Road and Interstate 82 last month to protect the interstate from rockfall would remain in place. And, she said, the 24 hour visual observations of the ridge which the department began mid January have stopped for now.
For Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management officials, the situation is routine, director Jeff Emmons said.
“This is really no different than floods or earthquakes,
or any other natural disaster we do long term planning for,” Emmons said.
The office will continue to prepare potential response efforts for a range of scenarios, including the worst case a large, rapidly moving slide that dams the Yakima River and floods Union Gap. However, the report estimated the odds of such a slide at 5 percent, calling the possibility “highly remote.”
In the meantime, Emmons said the dozens of local, state and federal agencies participating in response efforts over the last few months will remain on call should the slide show an increase in speed activity experts say could indicate a slide is imminent.
George Machan, a geotechnical engineer with Portland based Cornforth Consultants, said the technology in place would allow ample time for officials to notice an increase in the slide’s speed. The consulting agency was hired by Columbia Asphalt.
Machan said Cornforth Consultants will continue daily monitoring efforts as long as they are under contract with Columbia Asphalt, which operates a quarry at the base of the ridge but has suspended operations since last fall when massive cracks were spotted atop the ridge.
Cornforth Consulting workers will soon start examining the array of sensors and seismometers which can relay data to experts about every half hour to make sure they’re ready for long term use,