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National Weather Service issues landslide alert

MUDSLIDES

SEATTLE — It is a testament to nature’s power when heavy rain, mud and steep terrain all come together.

It is a bad combination.

It happened in Port Townsend and even more amazing in Coupeville; one of the biggest slides ever seen here.

“This is probably the largest movement of earth in Washington State since the Mount St. Helen’s volcanic eruption,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said.

For those living in slide prone areas the rainy season always comes with worry that the ground beneath will start moving again and lives will be changed.

A slide in Index early this year cut off the road, brought down trees and power lines.

Lives were disrupted for days and homeowners know it probably isn’t over.

“If you look at this hillside, there’s bumps on it. There’s you know, I see some split up trees right up there. That whole things going to eventually come down. If it comes down tonight or next year I don’t know but it’s going to be coming down,” Index homeowner Shirley Heintz said.

“We’ve had a lot of rain the past couple of days. Some places had more than an inch and some places had three inches of rain,” NWS meteorologist Johnny Burg said.

 

On top of that Burg says a warm front passing through Wednesday and Thursday will bring even more rain on ground already saturated.

An alert was issue so everyone can be aware of the danger.

“The ground will absorb as much as it can but after that it can’t absorb it as much and I think it starts to become unstable,” Burg said.

Slides can be somewhat predictable, but there is very little that can be done to prevent them so the experts says if you know you’re in a slide prone area keep a lookout and try to stay out of harm’s way.

Related: Snoqualmie Pass open for now; more closures possible

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