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West Seattle Slide Wreaks Havoc

A huge slide of gooey mud came crashing down a West Seattle hillside Thursday, burying a private road and cutting off access to 14 homes. At least one home was severely damaged.

A few residents and city workers barely escaped serious injury.

The slide occurred shortly after noon at the junction of 47th Avenue Southwest and Maplewood Place in the Arbor Heights neighborhood just south of the Fauntleroy ferry terminal.

Chuck Berry said he and a neighbor, Dr. Gilbert Roth, had just come from a meeting with city officials about drainage problems when he noticed the hillside “sliding a bit.”

“We changed our clothes and walked back up, and the hill just slid,” Berry said.

He said a torrent of mud knocked him off his feet and pushed him and Roth 30 to 40 feet.

Four homes were in the direct path of the slide, and Berry said the slide made one of them uninhabitable. The slide also buried a private road that provides access to 14 homes at the base of the hill.

The slide area was cordoned off.