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PEMCO Insurance reminds people about landslide risks

Search and rescue teams continue to work on March 27, 2014 in Oso, Washington. A massive mudslide killed at least twenty-five and left many missing. (Ted S. Warren-Pool/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — March 22, 2019 marks five years since 43 people were killed in the Oso landslide.

Part of unstable hill collapsed sending a wall of mud and debris into the community and nearly 50 homes were destroyed.

Derek Wing who is the Communications Manager at PEMCO Insurance joined Q13 News this Morning to talk about landslide risks.

“When we’re talking about smaller more localized landslides I think it really boils down to the saturation of the soil, how wet or muddy the soil is, as well as the location” said Wing.

There are signs you can look for to see if the soil around your home might be unstable.

  1. Arc-shaped cracks in the ground
  2. Leaning trees
  3. Bulges at the base of a slope
  4. Large cracks in your foundation or driveway
  5. Doors or windows that stick

Wing said if you are thinking about buying property on a hillside, PEMCO recommends you hire a geotechnical expert to check on it first.

Here are some tips on how to manage slopes to cut your landslide risk:

  1. Don’t remove vegetation
  2. Never irrigate above slopes
  3. Replace leaking water pipes
  4. Channel runoff away
  5. Avoid adding or removing soil
  6. Add a retaining wall at the base

As for insurance, landslides fall into the same category as earthquakes and floods, so if your home is damaged it might not be covered.

Data pix.
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