October 12, 2009 in Region

Wash. DOT assessing landslide near Naches

Associated Press
 
Sara Gettys photo

An aerial view shows a landslide blocking State Route 410 on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009, west of Naches, Wash. The landslide diverted the Naches River and damaged one home.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

NACHES, Wash. — Experts with the state Transportation Department are evaluating a landslide that obliterated a section of highway northwest of Yakima and rerouted the Naches River over the weekend.

They want to know if the landslide is still moving, as they suspect it is. If so, department spokeswoman Meagan McFadden says it could be a few days before they can assess how much damage was done and figure out how to best deal with it.

The landslide early Sunday shoved a quarter-mile of State Route 410 into the Naches River, forcing the river to find a new course and causing some flooding. About 60 people were evacuated.

McFadden says the ground that moved was extremely dry. It apparently gave way along a curved section of unstable slope — what’s known as a rotational landslide.

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