News / USA

Washington Landslide Damages Homes, Forces Evacuations

In this aerial photo, a landslide is shown near Coupeville, Wash. on Whidbey Island, Wednesday, March 27, 2013.   Whidbey Island authorities say one home has been severely damaged by the landslide that has isolated or threatened 33 more homes in the community overlooking Puget Sound about 50 miles north of Seattle.  Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue evacuated one person from the damaged home. About 10 more residents have been evacuated by boat.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
In this aerial photo, a landslide is shown near Coupeville, Wash. on Whidbey Island, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. Whidbey Island authorities say one home has been severely damaged by the landslide that has isolated or threatened 33 more homes in the community overlooking Puget Sound about 50 miles north of Seattle. Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue evacuated one person from the damaged home. About 10 more residents have been evacuated by boat. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Reuters
A 1,000-foot landslide that tore off a chunk of a subdivision on Washington state's Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, has now destroyed at least two homes and left several others in imminent danger, a county commissioner said on March 28.

The landslide first hit the Ledgewood Beach community about 50 miles north of Seattle on March 27.

Authorities rescued 12 residents from nearly 20 homes in the area that were cut off when a road was damaged by the landslide, which also knocked one house more than 100 feet from its foundation and severed electricity to many others.

"For sure, two houses are gone," Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said. "We had an uneventful night, but the slide is still extremely active."

Five homes remain in danger and roughly 35 others remain under an evacuation order or cut off from the rest of Whidbey Island, Johnson said, adding the damage was still being assessed.

Geologists were evaluating the disaster area and it could be days before officials determine if it is safe for residents to return home, said Jessica Payne, a spokeswoman for Washington state Department of Natural Resources.

The homes in the Ledgewood Beach area are a mix of year-round and vacation properties that sit high on a bluff overlooking the waters of the Puget Sound.

Community officials met on March 28 to work out the value of property damages and assess risks, Price Johnson said.

Some residents in less affected areas were allowed to return and retrieve possessions late on Wednesday and on Thursday morning.

Parts of Whidbey Island's coastline were left unstable by movements of the Vashon Glacier that formed it more than 12,000 years ago, according to an Island County historical website.

The slide on March 27 "is the largest that I'm aware of," Price Johnson said.

"I thought it was an earthquake when I first heard it," local resident Delia Curt told KING 5 news.

A home in the Ledgewood area was destroyed by a previous slide during winter storms in late 1996 and early 1997, Payne said.

"This area was actually mapped by DNR geologists in 2005 as a deep-seated landslide area that was historically active," Payne said.

Washington state homeowners can purchase a landslide insurance policy for homes at about $1,000 or more for a home valued at $300,000, said Karl Newman, president of the 11-member Northwest Insurance Council, based in Seattle.

"We encourage anyone above or below a steep slope to purchase it," Newman said.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid