County to temporarily close and analyze Fall City road impacted by slow moving landslide Friday morning, determine next steps

UPDATE | Thursday, February 14th, 4PM

King County said it will close 356th Drive SE in Fall City from 9AM to noon, Friday, February 14th to allow its consultant to analyze the slide hazard area. During this period, residents and all other traffic will not be allowed through (vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians). However, emergency and medical vehicles will still be able to access neighborhood during this period.

A status update on the road is expected by Friday afternoon, February 14th. The county warned there is a possibility the road could be closed immediately, so residents at their homes will not be able to leave.

King County is working on an emergency evacuation route from neighborhoods above the slide area, which is about .75 miles from SR 202.

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ORIGINAL STORY

Monday afternoon, February 10, 2020, King County Road Services said a slow moving landslide underneath 356th Drive SE in Fall City is threatening the roadway.

The damaged roadway is just past Essential Yoga Therapy located at 4030 356th Dr SE, about 3/4 of a mile off SR 202. KC Roads said they don’t expect the slide to impact SR 202.

In an abundance of caution, residents are being asked to voluntarily evacuate as 356th is the sole access road for the area. There are about 50 homes above the impacted roadway.

According to the county, one lane of the two-lane road had been closed since Thursday night, February 6th, due to road failure – presumably from land moving underneath.

KC Roads Maintenance Section Manager Jeremy Ferguson said they have been carefully monitoring and measuring cracks in 356th for several days, which grew three inches on Monday and prompted the voluntary evacuations.

Nearby Snoqualmie Falls received approximately 9.4 inches of rain – about 6 inches more than Seattle – in the first 10 days of February. That’s about 7 inches above the historical average for that same time period at the Falls.

Fall City resident Cameron VanWinkle provided a photo of the damaged roadway that was taken two days ago, saying the photo doesn’t do it justice. He commented, “The bottom left part imagine has dropped another inch or two and the gaps are a decent size now in the road.”

King County Road Services said they will have soil experts on scene Tuesday, February 11th, to evaluate next steps.

They added, “There is no estimate for when the land movement may stabilize. For residents who choose not to leave, they may be isolated for an extended period with no way in or out.”

The Red Cross is operating a shelter at Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church on Fish Hatchery Road in Fall City for residents affected by the evacuation.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Damaged section of 356th Drive SE in Fall City on 2/8/20. PC: Cameron VanWinkle
Damage to 356th Drive as of 2/10/20. PC: Cameron VanWinkle
Damage to 356th Drive as of 2/10/20. PC: Cameron VanWinkle
356th Drive SE in Fall City on 2/10/20 PC: KC Roads
Area of slow moving landslide under 356h Drive SE in Fall City

Comments

  1. Berlinda Dunbar-Nye says

    I grew up on this hill……Our neighbor Bob McManiman warned the road would eventually go here. I’m just worried. My dad and a stepmom are both disabled living there. My mom is usually up in our log cabin we built in the 60’s and can’t get home. Thankfully she has a place in Goldbar. I know this section of road and have a hard time imagining them fixing it quickly or easily. It’s just been home to me over 50 years and especially as a kid have walked and come to know it .

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