Rainfall won't have major impact on Rattlesnake Ridge landslide, geologist says

Rattlesnake Ridge Rainfall

UNION GAP, Wash. - Heavy rainfall in the Lower Valley has prompted many to ask if it will have an effect on the Rattlesnake Ridge landslide.

The landslide is creeping at a rate of about 2 inches a day, posing a threat to drivers and homes along I-82 south of Union Gap.

The probability of rainfall triggering a major slide event is unlikely, according to landslide geologist Stephen Slaughter with the Department of Natural Resources,

“We don’t expect to see any impact to the rate of movement [due to rain]. There could be a small increase in movement, but nothing severe,” Slaughter said. “There isn’t enough precipitation.”

He said it would have to rain for several weeks straight in order for water to soak through the layers of the hillside and significantly increase its rate of movement. 

Regardless, experts said they are monitoring the slide’s movement around the clock. 

While nature is virtually impossible to predict, some have projected the slide will happen anytime from now until March. 

In the meantime, emergency personnel said they are doing everything they can to keep the public safe. 

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