Skip to comments.Watching a Ridge Slide in Slow Motion, a Town Braces for Disaster
Posted on 01/22/2018 10:29:17 AM PST by sodpoodle
The fissure was first spotted in October on Rattlesnake Ridge in south central Washington State, overlooking Interstate 82 and the Yakima River. Since then, a 20-acre chunk of mountainside roughly four million cubic yards of rock, enough to fill 25 football stadiums to the top of the bleachers, eight stories up has been sliding downhill. Geologists can measure its current speed about two and a half inches a day but they cannot say for certain when, or if, it might accelerate into a catastrophe. And they are powerless to stop it. The mountain is moving, and at some point this slide will happen its just a matter of when, said Arlene Fisher-Maurer, the city manager in Union Gap, population about 7,000, just north of the ridge. So we wait and see and prepare, said Ms. Fisher-Maurer, who keeps a police scanner on her desk for alerts. The preparation has been key, and I think its going to do us well. The usual course of events when nature comes unhinged is for researchers and responders to look back in time, trying to understand what happened, as they assess and address the damage done. Here it is precisely the opposite: They are looking forward in time at a disaster in waiting, in which all is still potential and nothing is certain. The worst-case scenarios considered unlikely but possible have the slide breaking loose suddenly and roaring down toward the Yakima River, blocking the channel and flooding the valley, or burying the interstate that runs along the river, carrying 30,000 vehicles a day. Either would mean big trouble for a rich agricultural district where apples and hops are king, about two and a half hours drive from Seattle.
(Excerpt) Read more at msn.com ...
Like a whale
Diagrams and more info here:
Gee, ya think it might have to do with the 'strip' mining going on right next to the chunk about to slide?
Nice analysis at the link. They did not assign any blame, but it looks to me like the quarry operations caused the landslide. They should be responsible for mitigating its effects.
A few people living above it have been evacuated,it,is expected to slide into the quarry,worst case is it reaches the Yakima river and covers I82,no town is in danger.
Thanks. Was watching that on local TV but your link gave a lot better info. Controlled explosives could work, even directing the flow into the quarry.
I worked at a Rock Quarry in Georgia owned by Vulcan Materials years ago. It was like 30 miles from Columbus Ga. I was a welder and over all repairman for them. I worked all night fixing things that needed repairs. Belts, Shuts, Trucks, etc. etc. Rocks wear 1/4 and 1/2 sheets of steel down pretty quickly.
I went to work at 5 pm and checked things out to see what repairs needed to be done. The quarry shut down at 6 pm. me and a couple other guys had till they started them up again at 7 am to fix things. Usually we finished things by 2 or 3 am, but there were time the Quarry could not start up till 10 am or even noon if their was a can of worms we discovered.
Anyway, these places have workers 24/7. I know that if I was down inside one of the shootes closing off a whole that allowed different sized rocks to mix, I would be screwed the moment that landslide happened. It would take me 15 minutes just to get in and then out. I was the smallest guy in the crew and thus I got all the fun of climbing inside the difficult places.
The horror stories I could tell about those times.
If I were the workers, I be for demanding an increase in my life insurance policy funded by the company.
This is all because of global warming, ain’t it!
If this acreage is named Rattlesnake Hill, there must be Rattlesnakes lurking about the basalt trying to stay warm. The article does not show any agency concerned with the ultimate demise of these unfortunate reptiles who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Are the Socialists in the area aware of this disaster in the making? What can be done?
Money should not be a barrier to prompt movement of these poor snakes to a more safe environment where they can live out their lives under government oversight, with free medical coverage, free tuition, free housing, free wine from local wineries, etc. Let’s plan a march and demonstration for the coming weekend..... /s
Impressive planning and monitoring. Thanks.
I moved there in ‘75, but left in ‘78. So I’m pretty sure that it’s #not my fault
Interesting gig you had.
Mining operations ceased at this site as soon as they saw a prob.
I’m curious - what do they do with all the dirt dug up from a mine? Does it just get put around to build the roadways for trucks to come in and out of the quarry, or is it carted off somewhere?
Looking at the sat imagery, I see a big hole and wonder where the dirt went. It couldn’t have been all useful stuff.
I drive past this site twice a day. The original Geotech report says it will be a slough slide that will most likely stop. He says that is the typical slide that occurs on these small, steep, hill sides here in Eastern Washington. In fact just around the curve from this location on the same hill is a spot that did just that.
These hills crack, it sloughs off and then stops.
They sell anything that they can. The rocks go through crushers and then the belts run them up to the shakers that usually have 3 screens with different sizes ranging from 10 inch down to 3 inch or what ever size they can sell, and then into the bottom to bins.
Often times they will separate them through more shakers for different sizes all the way to sand, or gravel. Most rocks and gravel will drop through the shoots into huge bins for the trucks to roll under like they do with grain towers.
Usually the sand and finest gravel will end up on belts that then drop them in piles to be loaded by loaders into trucks to be delivered to landscape companies or for larger bulk orders used for roads and such.
Interestingly, most roads in the Deep south are blacktop because of the type of rock, where as most the roads up North are cement due to the different type of rock and sand they get from Quarrys up North.
It’s like most houses in the deep South are brick, due to the clay in the ground.
“Its like most houses in the deep South are brick, due to the clay in the ground.”
No point in shipping building materials any farther than you have to. If you hit a lumber store on the west coast you can find redwood but rarely cedar.
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