Unstable hillside threatens Washington highway near site of deadly 2014 slide

State Route 530 closed both directions Friday night after an unstable hillside threatened the highway.

State Route 530 near Oso in Snohomish County, Washington, remains closed after an unstable hillside threatened the highway Friday night.

Washington State Patrol reported a slow moving slide on an unstable hillside above SR 530 about 8 p.m. between mileposts 35 and 36 near Oso.

The Washington Department of Transportation closed that portion of the highway as a precaution. It will remain closed until at least Monday, when WSDOT will reassess the slide area to determine if it is safe to reopen.

As of Saturday morning, WSDOT says the highway will remain closed until further notice as geologists inspect the slope.

 

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"There has not been a large landslide," Ireton said. "What there has been is a slow moving hillside."

No structures have been impacted and no injuries have been reported.

One house in the path of the slide and 10 homes near Whitman Road have all been notified of a voluntary evacuation as a precaution.

Crews investigated the "slow moving slide" after citizens noticed cracks three days ago in a roadway that runs up the hillside south of SR 530.

"Earlier in the day geologists from the Department of Natural Resources went up on the hillside...to inspect a road that citizens had reported had some cracking and some land movement," Ireton said.

Photos: Unstable hillside closes SR 530

The slide is two miles west of the 2014 Oso landslide that killed 43 people and destroyed 49 homes and structures.

"What happened in 2014 was a tragedy that deeply impacted this community, and that is one reason why we’re taking these precautions this evening," Ireton said.

© 2017 KING-TV


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