Mudslides Explode Across Pacific Northwest (New ZetaTalk)

A startling number of devastating mudslides in the Pacific Northwest over the past 10 days has not escaped media attention.  While the reports predictably attribute these incidents to saturated soil from melting snow pack and heavy rain, the broad geographic proximity of these events occurring within a narrow time frame suggests there is more to the story.  The Zetas explain:

"Why has a spate of mudslides occurred in the region just inland from Vancouver Island and center of the Juan de Fuca Plate border? The presence of the Juan de Fuca Plate shows the pressure that is applied during Pole Shifts as the N American continent is pulled into a bow. The Pacific Plate has been fractured to create the Juan de Fuca, in essence. This happens regularly because, as we have stated, the N American Plate is flat on top, so it cannot roll. S America and Africa can roll, though they also bend and bow to some degree. N America bows until the New Madrid adjusts and the Seaway rips, but until then has stress from top to bottom. Mountainous areas are prone to landslides, due to the angle on hillsides, but when they happen, en mass, within days of each other, something else is afoot. The ground has moved, reacting to the bow pressure."  ZetaTalk


Below is a summary of significant landslide reports in western North America since June 2012.  Between July 12 and July 20, eight dramatic mudslides were documented in the Pacific Northwest providing compelling evidence of the ever increasing bow pressure being applied to the North American Plate.

June 11 - Massive Landslide in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Perhaps the largest landslide in North American history, half-mile wide and 5 ½ miles long, registering as a 3.4-magnitude earthquake, burying a remote valley beneath the 11,750-foot Lituya Mountain in the Fairweather Range about six miles from the border with British Columbia.

June 24 - Josephine Creek Near Kaslo, BC.  Mudslide wiped out dam that funnels water to Kaslo BC on Kootenay Lake about 70 kilometres north of Nelson.

July 12 - Mudslide in Kootenay BC Region at Johnsons Landing.  4 houses washed away by mudslide on Gar Creek, above Johnsons Landing, carving a path of destruction down the mountainside into Kootenay Lake.

July 14 - Mudslides Close 66 Miles of Highway and Rail Line in Washington.  Multiple mudslides buried railroad tracks, buckled State Highway 14, after mud and debris gushed down the bluffs above the Columbia River in eastern Klickitat County about 50 road miles west of Goldendale.

July 14 - Mudslide Buries Train Tracks Near Pasco, Washington. Slide buried 300 feet of track in boulders and debris and washed out sections of track bed.

July 15 - Second Mudslide in Kootenay BC Region at Fairmont Hot Springs.  600 stranded as Highway 93/95 buried in debris from mudslide at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.  Mudslide initially formed a dam along creek upstream from the resort, eventually releasing a devastating torrent of mud and debris.

July 17 - Third Mudslide in Kootenay BC Region Closes Highway North of Castlegar.  A mudslide late Tuesday afternoon evacuated three homes and closed Highway 3A near the small town of Thrums, just four kilometres northeast of Castlegar, B.C.  It is the third slide to hit the Kootenay region in less than a week.

July 17 - Multiple Mudslides in Glacier National Park, Montana. A five mile stretch of Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park was closed after a series of rock and mud slides hit several vehicles on Going to the Sun Road.

July 18 - Mudslide Closes Highway 821 in Central Washington.  A section of State Highway 821 from a point 17 miles north of Selah to Ellensburg was closed due to a large mudslide. The scenic highway along the Yakima River is also known as Canyon Road.

July 20 - Mudslide Closes TransCanada Highway Near Banff, Alberta.  A football-field sized mud slide has closed a portion of the TransCanada Highway with over a metre of mud on the westbound lanes and half a metre on the eastbound about two kilometres west of Banff between the Norquay and Castle Junctions in both directions.

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Comment by Howard on September 12, 2013 at 3:51am

Over 12 Landslides At Once in Southwestern British Columbia (Sept 6)

Over a dozen landslides occurred simultaneously north of Campbell River up in Knight's Inlet near Matsiu Creek and Glendale Cove.

"In the 20 years with Ministry of Forests I have not seen anything like this," said Mike McCully, Engineering Specialist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO). "There is a massive amount of debris in the inlet and lots of navigational hazards. Log salvages will be out there gathering up material that is viable. I have seen fish farm pens completely clogged with residue. We have lost infrastructure, bridges and roads, and the forest service road will be closed until further notice."

McCully said that their first priority is to make sure everyone is safe and they are in the early stages of making assessments.

"We could hear an unbelievable rumbling and we didn't know what it was, thunder or what," said Dean Wyatt, owner of the Knight Inlet Lodge. "We woke up the next morning and the cove where we are was just littered with debris."

Wyatt says there were more than a dozen slides all at once, all in the same place.

No one was hurt, but Wyatt says there is concern how the debris could affect the salmon in the Glendale Spawning channel - the main food source for the grizzly bears in the area.

Ministry of FLNRO has engaged a regional Geomorphologist to assist ministry engineering staff in investigating the area to determine full extent of damage and to learn more about the cause.

"We are going to fly over the area again Tuesday with a geo-scientist to measure the full extent of the damage and learn more about the cause," said McCully. "It has been reported over the weekend that this was related to logging but this started well above any logging activity and may be related to recent seismic activity in the area."


Comment by Howard on September 7, 2013 at 6:06am

Mudslides Close 2 Mountain Passes, Bury Vehicles in Washington (Sept 5)

Mudslides from Thursday’s heavy rainstorms closed two passes over Washington’s Cascades and also buried several parked cars and trucks in the community of Stehekin at Lake Chelan, authorities said Friday.

Rocks and mud covered Highway 20 — the North Cascades Highway — in several locations and the road was shut down between mileposts 147 and 171, the Washington State Department of Transportation said.

Mudslides also closed State Route 410 — the Chinook Pass Highway — about nine miles west of the junction of U.S. 12, near Naches, the department said.

Vehicles in a long-term parking lot at the mouth of Imus Creek at Lake Chelan were buried by a rock and mudslide, the North Cascades National Park said.

Meanwhile,  a massive mud and rock slide in the community of Stehekin Thursday night buried many vehicles in the long-term parking area and at the mouth of Imus Creek, at Lake Chelan, the North Cascades National Park said.  Businesses affected were Discovery Bikes and Stehekin Reservations and Fly Fishing Shop. Most of the bicycles were damaged or washed into Lake Chelan and the log cabin office for fly fishing and reservations was surrounded by mud and rocks.

An historic NPS storage shed at the Imus Cabin was filled with water and mud, the storage shed at the Lake House was damaged, and mud encroached on the public laundry building. Gas is currently turned off to that area to reduce the potential for fire. There were no injuries

A mudslide also closed Icicle Road, a popular camping area, about 11 miles west of Leavenworth.  Rain from Thursday night’s thunderstorm washed rocks and woody debris into a 4-foot-wide culvert on Icicle Road, near the Fourth of July Trailhead, clogging the culvert and diverting water flow across the road, the U.S. Forest Service said.


Comment by Howard on August 23, 2013 at 6:03am

Landslides Close Highway 178 in California "Indefinitely" (Aug 21)

A pair of landslides will keep Highway 178 through the Kern River Canyon closed "indefinitely," a Caltrans official said Wednesday.

Rocks spilled onto the highway, the main route from Bakersfield to the Kern River Valley.

Rocks and mud began spilling onto the roadway around 5 p.m. Monday, the California Highway Patrol said. By about 6, several vehicles became stuck behind large boulders and mud, prompting the closure.

Caltrans recommended commuters take the alternate route of Highway 65 north to Highway 155 east or Highway 58 east to Highway 14 north to Hwy. 178 south.

Caltrans said it needs to rebuild parts of the road after the debris is cleared, including highway foundation, pavement and guardrails.

The aim is to get one lane open within a week or two, using traffic controllers on each end to alternate drivers from each direction, Caltrans said.


Comment by Howard on April 30, 2013 at 3:12am

Rock Slide Damages BC Highway, Knocks Out Power (Apr 11)

A large rock slide on the north arm of B.C.'s Kootenay Lake cut off power and blocked highway access to the south for a number of remote communities including Johnsons Landing, which itself was hit by a landslide last summer.

The rock slide hit Highway 31, about two kilometres north of the community of Lardeau, at about 1 a.m. PT Thursday.

Hugh Eberle, the Nelson-based operations manager for the B.C. Ministry of Transportation, said about 10 truck loads of rock came down the Lardeau bluffs.

The rocks that fell onto the road varied in size, but some were as large as small cars, he said.

Kim Foster, who runs a gas station north of the slide in Cooper Creek, says she lost power early in the morning.

"We've had quite a few gas customers come in and quite a few people need water as well," she said.

Foster says people coming into her store tell her several power poles were taken out.

"And there is a huge rock embedded in the highway," she said.

As of 3:30 p.m. an aerial assessment of the slide area and highway damage had been completed, and the highway was re-opened to single lane, alternating traffic.

Crews say it will take some time to clear and repair the highway, which was cracked open by some of the larger boulders.

Power has not yet been restored to all areas, including Johnsons Landing, which was hit by a massive slide last summer. In September, a geotechnical expert said the land above the community was unstable and warned that another slide could happen at any time.


Comment by Howard on April 11, 2013 at 3:24am

Washington State: Worst Landslides in Last 100 Years (Apr 10)

Western Washington state is seeing one of the worst slide seasons in nearly 100 years. This season, there’s been 200 landslides on railroad property; 100 of those were significant slides. Fifty-six were blocking slides that suspended train service, compared to only 4 blocking slides the year before.


Comment by Howard on March 28, 2013 at 2:47am

Massive Landslide Near Seattle Washington (Mar 27)


A "massive" landslide gave way with a sound like thunder into the Puget Sound, knocking a home off its foundation, isolating or threatening more than two dozen other homes and taking out a road near Seattle.

Many of the homes are summer cabins or weekend getaways and were unoccupied, but residents that heard the slide described it to KOMO-TV as sounding like thunder.

No one was injured in the slide that broke about 4 a.m. Wednesday in the small community of Ledgewood on scenic Whidbey Island, said Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue Chief Ed Hartin. Thirty-three homes are currently impacted.

"It's possible more homes could be lost. We're trying to ensure the safety and awareness of people," Hartin said. "There's not anything we can do to stop the movement of the ground."

One person from the home that was knocked off its foundation was evacuated with the use of an all-terrain vehicle. About 10 more residents have been evacuated by boat. Hartin didn't have a total number of people evacuated. One person was taken to a hospital with a condition unrelated to the slide.

The slide broke across 400 to 500 yards on a hillside and downhill 600 or 700 yards to the water, Hartin said.

The slide took out a road close to the water, isolating 16 homes. Another 17 homes on an uphill road are threatened by the mudslide which continued to move. It was within 10 feet of a home late Wednesday morning.

There has been no significant rain in recent days so the immediate cause of the slide is unknown.

A geotechnical expert was being brought in to assess the slide and the danger to homes. If the slide stabilizes, some people might be allowed to return. But others have homes that are now unreachable.

"Being cut off from the road, water and power," residents had to leave, said Island County Sheriff Mark Brown. "It's a pretty massive mudslide."


Comment by Howard on February 11, 2013 at 8:19pm

Oregon Landslide Halts Thief in Stolen Taxi (Feb 2)
A man stole a taxi at knifepoint and led police on a chase before crashing into a landslide blocking a rural road, police said.

Cody Pettit, 18, of Brookings faces charges of Robbery in the First Degree, Attempt to Elude by Vehicle, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Reckless Driving, Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree, Menacing x 2, Harassment x 5, Reckless Endangering, Theft of Services, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, and Coercion, the Curry County Sheriff's Office said.

Pettit stole the white taxi van at knifepoint just before 4 p.m. Saturday, February 2, the sheriff said.

A deputy spotted the vehicle on Highway 101 and tried to pull the driver over. The deputy followed as Pettit turned onto Meyers Creek Road, which is closed due to a landslide, the sheriff said.

Pettit crashed the taxi into the landslide. He was taken into custody without further incident, the sheriff said.


Comment by Howard on February 1, 2013 at 5:27am

Relentless Rail Service Interruptions from Landslides in Washington (Jan 31)

This winter is by far the worst ever for train trips between Everett and Seattle canceled because of mudslides. And it's only January, with months of rain still ahead.

Already, at least 162 Sounder rail trips have been canceled on the route, overwhelming the record set in the winter of 2010-11 when 72 trips were canceled. Service began in 2003.

It's a hassle not only for Sounder commuters, but also for Amtrak riders and freight trains.

Now, the organizations responsible for train travel on the corridor say they're joining forces to get at the root of the problem.

Officials from the state Department of Transportation's rail division, Sound Transit, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Amtrak plan to study what's causing the mudslides and look for long-term solutions. The rail organizations plan to review slope studies and historical slide data to try to figure out why more slides are occurring.

It's uncertain when something might come of the effort, said David Smelser, who oversees the Amtrak Cascades trains for the state Transportation Department.

"It depends on what the cause is," he said. "The goal is to get quickly into compiling the data we have and get investigative work under way."

In the short term, the state and BNSF have worked to reinforce the hillsides and improve drainage where possible.

The rail company owns the tracks and has spent millions of dollars on slide cleanup and additional maintenance, spokesman Gus Melonas said.

The company has spent more still on preventive measures such as improving seawalls and bridge footings, building new ditches and holding ponds, and contouring hillsides, he said.

The state spent $100,000 on similar projects last summer, and still the slides are occurring more frequently than ever.

The state has received another $16 million in federal funds for physical work on the hillsides, which could involve larger projects such as installing drains into hillsides, collecting water, piping it into a ditch and creating a new drainage system at the bottom of the hill, Smelser said.

The state and railroad are trying to nail down which projects can be done before next winter, he said. The larger ones, while potentially more effective, could take more time.

Eight Sounder trains operate on weekdays between Everett and Seattle, four each way. Six Amtrak trains run on the line every day, three each way.

The railroad imposes a 48-hour moratorium on passenger service as a safety precaution when tracks are blocked by a mudslide.

"This has been one of the more challenging years that we have faced," he said.


Comment by Howard on January 24, 2013 at 4:58am

More recent landslides in the Pacific Northwest.

Ridgefield Washington Landslide (Jan 17)

West Seattle Mudslide (Jan 9)

Langley BC Mudslide (Jan 8)

Walton Oregon Mudslide (Dec 20)

Comment by Howard on January 11, 2013 at 6:20am

Continual Mudslides Prevent Passenger Rail North of Seattle (Jan 10)

Mud, rocks and trees keep sliding onto the railroad tracks between Seattle and Everett, all but halting passenger service there since Thanksgiving.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says there were two slides Wednesday night and another one at 8:20 a.m. Thursday near Mukilteo.

Crews have cleared the tracks for freight trains but Amtrak and Sound Transit Sounder trains have to wait 48 hours for safety. Rail passengers are bused in the meantime.

The soonest passenger rail traffic can resume north of Seattle is Saturday morning. Sound Transit's Northline Sounder run won't restart until Monday at the earliest.

Melonas says there have been 77 mudslides in the area and one in British Columbia since Thanksgiving Day, preventing 95 percent of the passenger rail service north of Seattle.


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