Why landslides happen and could happen here - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Why landslides happen and could happen here

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

After dealing with the state's largest wildfire that burned through hundreds of miles of land, Okanogan County is now dealing with something else. A landslide swept through, completely closing roads, and trapping people in their homes.

“With all that vegetation gone, the water just runs off and creates a large pile at the bottom of the hill,” said U.S. Geological Survey Geologist Tom Frost.

Frost says there are many factors that can trigger a landslide: earthquakes, rivers creating unstable ground, or as in the case of Okanogan County, a lot of rain with nothing to catch it.

“The big problem in the recent events has been that there were all the fires, which burned off the vegetation, which helps hold both the moisture and rocks in place,” Frost explained.

Once a landslide has happened, re-building back to the way it was before is not really an option.

“There really is no normal after something like that happens because once a landslide occurs, the ground is fundamentally unstable,” Frost said.

Frost says it is even something that could happen here in the Latah Creek area down by the golf courses.

“The stream has undercut the cliffs reducing the stability, similar to this Oso situation and that can precipitate a landslide coming down at anytime whether or not there is rain,” Frost said.

Once a landslide happens in an area, Frost says it forever changes the landscape. It also means the area is prone to having more landslides happen again in the future.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Florida woman arrested after 3 dogs found in freezer

    Florida woman arrested after 3 dogs found in freezer

    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:30 PM EST2017-12-17 00:30:58 GMT

    PIERSON, Fla. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies checking the home of a Florida woman and her small child found three dead dogs in her freezer and a house covered in filth and cockroaches.    The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 35-year-old Victoria Kanger was arrested on Thursday and charged with child neglect.

    More >>

    PIERSON, Fla. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies checking the home of a Florida woman and her small child found three dead dogs in her freezer and a house covered in filth and cockroaches.    The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 35-year-old Victoria Kanger was arrested on Thursday and charged with child neglect.

    More >>
  • AP-NORC Poll: 52 percent say country worse off under Trump

    AP-NORC Poll: 52 percent say country worse off under Trump

    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:19 PM EST2017-12-17 00:19:00 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are painting a pessimistic view of the country and President Donald Trump as 2017 comes to a close.    That's according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows less than a quarter of Americans think Trump has made good on the pledges he made to voters.

    More >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are painting a pessimistic view of the country and President Donald Trump as 2017 comes to a close.    That's according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows less than a quarter of Americans think Trump has made good on the pledges he made to voters.

    More >>
  • Spokane proceeds with full-city plow

    Spokane proceeds with full-city plow

    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:12 PM EST2017-12-17 00:12:31 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane is continuing with its Full-City Plow; City snow removal crews will work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until they plow all streets within the City. About 50 employees are out working to clear snow. Under the City’s revamped snow response plan, a full-City plow should take about three days to complete unless there is additional snowfall.

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane is continuing with its Full-City Plow; City snow removal crews will work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until they plow all streets within the City. About 50 employees are out working to clear snow. Under the City’s revamped snow response plan, a full-City plow should take about three days to complete unless there is additional snowfall.

    More >>