The sights and sounds of rocks rolling down mountainsides are common but still captivating phenomena for the residents of the Nile Valley in central Washington state.
“Every morning I hear big rocks coming down,” said longtime valley resident Frank Koch.
But a landslide over the weekend was more than Koch and the other 1,500 people in the Nile Valley bargained for.
“We just had the whole face of the mountain just pretty much come off,” said Valerie Royster, manager of the Woodshed Restaurant, which sits just across the road from the edge of the landslide.
The slide covered a quarter-mile to half-mile of State Route 410, which connects Yakima with Mount Rainier National Park, with rock up to 30 feet deep, said Washington state Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Westbay.
Westbay said 25 homes had been affected by flooding and five by the landslide itself, including a mobile home that was demolished …
Damage was estimated at $20 million, but that would likely increase, said Jim Hall, director of emergency management for Yakima County. Watch aerial shots of landslide area »
“My bet is it’s probably going to be a lot more than that,’ Hall said. Roads would needed to be rebuilt or rerouted, he said, and tons and tons of rock and debris moved.