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Old 03-25-2014, 10:51 AM   #1
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Massive landslide in WA state

I don't know how many people who don't live on the West Coast are aware of this massive landslide:

Washington State Mudslide: Over 100 Remain Unaccounted For In Snohomish County

But it sent me searching on the Internet for an answer to "Why were homes still being built there?"

"SEATTLE -- A scientist who documented the landslide conditions on a Washington hill that buckled last weekend in a massive mudslide warned in a 1999 report filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of "the potential for a large catastrophic failure."

The Seattle Times reports that report was written by Daniel J. Miller and his wife, Lynne Rodgers Miller. Daniel Miller told the newspaper, "We've known it would happen at some point."

Daniel Miller studies land formations and their changes. He also documented the hill's landslide conditions in a 1997 report for the Washington Department of Ecology and the Tulalip Tribes.

He says he returned to the Snohomish County hill in 2006 within weeks of a landslide that plugged the north fork of the Stillaguamish River and was startled to see new homes being built.

Snohomish County Executive John Lovick and Public Works Director Steve Thomsen said Monday night they were not aware of the 1999 report. Thomsen says a slide of this magnitude is "very difficult to predict."

Scientist says he knew 15 years ago hillside would fail | KING5.com Seattle

Here is a graphic that shows positions of old slides and this newest one.

The Snohomish County landslide - The Washington Post

"~ At least five homes were built in 2006 on Steelhead Drive in the path of Saturday's event and another home was built in the neighborhood in 2009.

~ The hill that collapsed Saturday is referred to by geologists with different names, including "Hazel Landslide" and "Steelhead Haven Landslide," a reference to the hillside’s constant movement. Some residents, according to a 1967 Seattle Times story, referred to it simply as “Slide Hill.”"

DEATH TOLL IN MASSIVE SNOHOMISH COUNTY MUDSLIDE INCREASES TO 14<br><i>Some 176 people unaccounted for</i> | FEATURE NEWS | Sky Valley Chronicle Washington State News
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:56 AM   #2
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But it sent me searching on the Internet for an answer to "Why were homes still being built there?"
If you take away all the places to build houses where there probably will be issues then you will not have anyplace to build houses. People on the coast will always deal with hurricane. People in CA will have wild fires and earthquakes. There are floods in many areas. Severe winter storms. The list goes on. There is nowhere that is not in danger of Mother Nature taking their house in one way or another. Now granted there are some areas that are more in danger than others obviously, but as to why people build in dangerous areas, all areas are dangerous in their own way.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:02 PM   #3
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If you take away all the places to build houses where there probably will be issues then you will not have anyplace to build houses. People on the coast will always deal with hurricane. People in CA will have wild fires and earthquakes. There are floods in many areas. Severe winter storms. The list goes on. There is nowhere that is not in danger of Mother Nature taking their house in one way or another. Now granted there are some areas that are more in danger than others obviously, but as to why people build in dangerous areas, all areas are dangerous in their own way.
True dat!

But the point is----- " Now granted there are some areas that are more in danger than others obviously".

"If you take away all the places to build houses where there probably will be issues then you will not have anyplace to build houses."

There's one solution to that----- but I'm not about to bring THAT up.
Oh, no!
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:22 PM   #4
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"SEATTLE (AP) - The warnings could hardly have been clearer. One technical report told of the "potential for a large catastrophic failure" of the 600-foot hillside above a rural neighborhood near Oso, on the Stillaguamish River. Another noted plainly that it "poses a significant risk to human lives and private property."

The danger was so apparent that Snohomish County officials mulled buying out the properties of the residents who lived there.

Instead, the county continued to allow the construction of homes nearby. Seven went up even after a significant slide approached the neighborhood in 2006.

Whatever the wisdom of its decision, the county might never be held liable in court for not doing more to protect residents, an outcome that would leave victims of last month's devastating landslide one fewer avenue for recovering financially for their damages."

Unclear if 530 landslide lawsuits could win | Local & Regional | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News

Regardless, I'm betting that the agency with the deepest pockets wins. I doubt if that will be a homeowner.

Ergo---- caveat emptor.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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Caveat emptor, for sure. I wonder if those people in the newer houses even knew about the risk.

Here on the Island of Montreal, the shore of the river is about 5 km south of me. It floods and damages people's homes. They usually get compensation. That ticks me off. I can't afford a lakeshore home, but my tax dollars go to compensating these people who knew the river would flood.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:00 PM   #6
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Caveat emptor, for sure. I wonder if those people in the newer houses even knew about the risk.

Here on the Island of Montreal, the shore of the river is about 5 km south of me. It floods and damages people's homes. They usually get compensation. That ticks me off. I can't afford a lakeshore home, but my tax dollars go to compensating these people who knew the river would flood.
I don't know what 'full disclosure' for realtors or people selling houses went into effect.

And there will always be people who think 'it can't/won't happen to me'.

The same thing as those lakeshore houses up your way-----the Russian River (in Calif,) floods regularly. People in Guerneville, Forestville etc know that. still buy/rent homes there. The people that buy homes in the hills in that area often get to know their lower elevation neighbors in a close and personal way when their house lands on top of theirs.
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