landslides

Lessons From Oso
5:21 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Independent Commission To Probe Oso Landslide

Grocery owner Kevin Ashe of Darrington
John Ryan KUOW

An independent commission will delve into the deadliest landslide in Washington history. The commission will seek statewide lessons from the Oso landslide, land use in the Oso area before the slide, and the emergency response in the days and weeks afterward.

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Risk Management
4:41 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Snohomish County Revisits Development In Landslide Zones

How to keep a county that is still reeling from a deadly landslide safe from future landslides?

Environmentalists' and developers' conflicting answers to that question will get a full airing on Wednesday at the Snohomish County Council in Everett. The council is holding a special hearing on ways to reduce the chances of new homes being put in where landslides might take them out.

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EarthFix Reports
3:32 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Oso Highlights A Policy Challenge: Development Pressure Vs. Landslide Risk

Barbara Ingram stands in front of the site of a proposed development in her neighborhood. Snohomish County denied the permit for the development due to "slope stability and drainage issues" but the developer has reapplied.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Barbara Ingram furrows her brow as she peers into a patch of woods up the road from her house. Developers have had their eyes on this place, too.

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Logging Regulations
2:18 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

State Officials Discuss Regulations To Prevent Future Landslides

A logging truck near Port Angeles, Washington.
Flickr Photo/brewbooks (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks to Peter Goldmark, commissioner of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, about logging regulations in landslide-prone areas. The DNR and other state officials met in Olympia to discuss the possibility of even more regulations down the line.

Unstable Slopes
5:43 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

DNR Promises Tighter Controls On Logging Near Landslide Zones

Washington Department of Natural Resources image shows 2004 clear-cut (near dotted purple line) extending into no-logging zone (marked with yellow line) at site of the March 22, 2014, Oso landslide.
Credit Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington State officials announced new restrictions on logging near landslide zones Friday afternoon.

The change in policy comes six weeks after a landslide near the town of Oso killed at least 41 people.

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Mudslide
1:12 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

After Oso: The Emotional Phases Of A Disaster

In the entryway to the Darrington Community Center, Red Cross Volunteer Christine Dahl works through the list of area residents seeking gas cards to help with the cost of traveling the two and a half hour detour created by the devastating mudslide.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Aid agencies are reducing their presence in Oso and Darrington, a month and a half after a landslide hit the small community there, killing at least 41.

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Real Estate
8:17 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Landslide Risk Could Be Noted On King County Property Titles

King County's current landslide hazard areas map, last updated in the 1990s.
Credit King County

King County is seeking federal funding for an updated map of landslide hazards, and is considering the possibility of using this map to provide the public information about buildings at risk.

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Environmental Review
3:31 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

King County To Revise Map Of Landslide-Prone Areas

This historical photo shows the 1996 Perkins Lane landslide in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle.
Credit Courtesy Washington State Department of Ecology

Marcie Sillman talks to John Starbard, director of King County's Department of Permitting and Environmental Review, about the county’s effort to map out areas that might be prone to landslides and earthquakes.

Technology
2:33 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

How Drones Quietly Mapped Oso Landslide Area

Brittany Duncan of Roboticists Without Borders flies a drone to survey the Oso mudslide on April 23, 2014.
Credit Tamara Palmer

As Washington Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a bill in April that would have regulated drone use statewide, a consortium of disaster recovery specialists quietly negotiated the use of drones to make a 3-D model of the Oso mudslide.

Inslee vetoed the Legislature's bill on April 4 citing privacy and transparency concerns that he said were not adequately addressed, but he said he would still let drones fly in emergencies.

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Logging And Landslides
9:03 am
Wed April 16, 2014

DNR Head Defends Taking Timber Money Despite Vow

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark thanks one of the volunteers at the Great Gravel Pack-In at the Capitol State Forest, March 29, 2014.
Credit Flickr Photo/Diana Lofflin, DNR (CC BY-NC-ND)

It's not unusual for elected officials to cozy up to people with money. Yet Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark's relationship with the timber industry he regulates has changed dramatically since the two-term Democrat first ran for the office six years ago.

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Community Resilience
8:08 am
Tue April 8, 2014

One Man's Story Of Rebuilding After 'Total Devastation'

Mike Peroni's farm in Curtis, Wash. was wiped out by a 2007 flood. It took him and his family years to rebuild.
Liz Jones KUOW

Mike Peroni knows what it’s like to live through a disaster. In 2007, a massive flood wiped out his home and farm in Curtis, Wash., about 40 miles south of Olympia.

For him, stories from the tragic landslide near Oso, Wash., on March 22 have hit an emotional scar.

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Oso Clear-Cut
12:24 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Oso Logger: We Followed Rules, Cut Edge Of Landslide Zone Cautiously

Washington Department of Natural Resources image shows 2004 clear-cut (near dotted purple line) extending into no-logging zone (marked with yellow line) at site of Oso landslide.
Credit Washington Department of Natural Resources

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

The forester who clear-cut land above the Oso, Wash., landslide zone in 2004 says he followed standard procedures and state regulations when logging there.

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Comforting Traditions
7:25 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Funeral Dinners Help Darrington Cope With Losses

Darrington Community Center hosted a meal for librarian Linda McPherson as part of the community's long-running tradition.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The first wave of memorial services honoring the victims who perished in the Oso landslide took place this weekend.

In Darrington, residents gathered to remember Linda McPherson, a longtime resident and librarian. After the service, the community gathered for a meal together. It's a special tradition that goes back many decades in this small community.

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Field Notes From Oso
7:04 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Landslide Recovery Specialist Hopes To Use Drones In Future Rescue Operations

Volunteer Merry Killinger learns from Stacy Noland how to document rescue and recovery efforts in Oso, Wash.
Courtesy of Stacy Noland

Stacy Noland deployed to Oso, Wash., with the Global Disaster Innovation Group Field Innovation Team three days after the fatal landslide there. Noland has worked in rescue and recovery operations following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the 2011 Joplin tornado, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. His role at the debris pile was to figure out how to make rescue and recovery most efficient. We asked what he has learned so far.

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Warnings From Oso
8:14 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Living In The Shadow Of Landslide Risk

"Maybe that hillside is a danger to me," says Ben Van Dusen, looking towards the steep foothills of Mt. Index less than a 1/4 mile from his home. "I didn’t think it was but maybe it is.”
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

The landslide in Oso, Wash., served as a devastating reminder of one fact of life in the Northwest: landslides happen.

In some places, it’s a risk people have learned to live with — places like the Mt. Index River Sites, a loose cluster of homes along the Skykomish River northeast of Seattle in the Cascade Mountains.

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