Heavy rain, snow increase threat of mudslides in Western Washington

Data pix.

DES MOINES, Wash. -- All the rain and snow falling in Western Washington bumps up the risk for mudslides and avalanches.

A big mudslide shutdown Woodmont Drive in Des Moines, Washington.

Officials said the danger is looming as the heavy downpours continue.

Neighbors like Fred Wentz are leery after a big mudslide already tumbled down across the street from his house just a few weeks ago, blocking the road for days.

“Never seen that before. Been here 33 years,” Wentz said. “One to 10 scale, that was a 10!”

Since then crews have been working to prevent more slides and watch the Woodmont Drive slide more closely.

The road the mud toppled down from is still closed.

In Seattle, officials say 20,000 properties are prone to landslides.

“They’re dangerous that’s why we want people to prepare,” said Wendy Shark with the city of Seattle.

On Thursday, city leaders were keeping track of how saturated the ground is, saying the city was still under the landslide risk threshold, though things can change.

They warned residents to be ready by making sure downspouts aren’t going to be vulnerable areas on their property and eroding slopes, and making sure homeowners not weighing down slopes with yard waste.

“We’re at peak landslide season right now,” Shark said. “Although we did check the landslide thresholds this morning and we haven’t gone over them, so that means Seattle is in a pretty good spot there.”

“But with the coming storm you don’t know,” added Shark.

As for avalanche danger, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center, the risk for avalanches in the Cascades Thursday was “considerable,” meaning there are dangerous avalanche conditions.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.