Officials Continue to Monitor Rattlesnake Hills Landslide
It's still sliding but the landslide in Union Gap has slowed considerably from when it was discovered in 2017. Horace Ward with the Yakima Office of Emergency Management says they continue to monitor the Rattlesnake Hills Landslide in Union Gap but there's been little movement over the years. Ward says some monitoring stations on the mountain haven't seen any movement in months. Currently he says the slide is moving at between .02 to .15 feet per week. So while there's still movement it's very slow and not a concern for emergency officials. Ward says it could be upwards of 50 years or more before there's any major movement that could be of concern. He says the office as well as state officials continue to monitor the area.
By the way Ward says rain and or snow won't impact the slide because it's mainly made up of large rocks and not moveable soil.
In 2017 the concern about falling rocks pushed officials to place cargo containers along the base of the mountain to prevent to rocks from impacting traffic along Thorp Road which is now closed. Ward says they still see some rocks fall on the road and that's why Thorp Road remains closed. However he says none of the rocks falling are considered a problem for cars traveling along I-82. Ward says they know immediately if there's any change in the slide because of all the monitors so he says there would be plenty of time to warn those living near the area to evacuate and stop traffic if needed. But he doesn't anticipate that happening anytime in the near future.
The monitoring continues by local and state officials.