Evacuees living near Rattlesnake Ridge allowed to return home

Evacuees living near Rattlesnake Ridge allowed to return home

More than 70 people had to evacuate their homes near Yakima about a month ago because a major crack in Rattlesnake Ridge was causing a serious landslide threat.

Those people have now been told they can return to their homes, as the evacuation notice has been reduced from Level 3 to Level 1.

The shift comes after Governor Jay Inslee called for a new geologist to analyze the threat, who concluded the land probably won’t cause a sudden slide.

“The time frame for this movement could drag out over quite some time. Up to years,” said WSDOT’s Chief Engineering Geolosit, James Scruthers.

Estimates now say the 4 million cubic yard, massive slab of rock will continue to move about 3 inches per day.

At that rate, the slide could take years, or even decades.

A sudden, major slide is still a possibility, but experts believe there would be warning signs with enough time to make sure people are out of the area.

“We’re ready at a moment’s notice, so if something were to change, we can ramp back up and meet the needs of public safety,” said Director of Yakima Valley Emergency Management, Jeff Emmons.

For now, geologists are confident that neither the massive crack, or falling debris, will affect people living in the area, Interstate 82, or the Yakima River.

Emergency Management, and The Department of Natural Resources will continue to monitor the landslide threat, and re-issue mandatory evacuations if necessary.

Information from sister station KAPP/KVEW: https://www.yaktrinews.com/news/residents-living-at-base-of-rattlesnake-ridge-allowed-to-return-home-officials-say/694687999