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00000179-65ef-d8e2-a9ff-f5ef8dd70000In early October 2017, large cracks were spotted on the ground at Rattlesnake Ridge, a hillside about three miles south of Yakima, Washington. By January, the cracks had widened and emergency officials became concerned that a major landslide could imminent.Around 50 residents who lived on a small tract of land at the bottom of the hillside were evacuated and officials prepared for the worst.By the end of the month, geologists and engineers concluded that the landslide was a slow moving one and the risk of a major, catastrophic slide was low. Warning signs were taken down and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

Rattlesnake Ridge Landslide Turns Into A Slow Grind

Washington DNR -
The land on Rattlesnake Ridge is moving at a constant 1.7 feet per week.

The landslide on Rattlesnake Ridge outside of Yakima, Washington, is turning into a slow grind. The land is moving at a constant 1.7 feet per week.

Emergency managers are cutting back their twice-a-week press conferences to just one. They said that there just isn’t enough new happening with the slide.

Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management Director Jeff Emmons said his office is also starting to scale back hours too.

“My staff, we’re adjusting our staffing back to normal hours to start dealing with the long range planning,” he said.

Emmons said the only problem state and county managers are continuing to see is unsafe hikers up on the slide itself. He said they are disturbing the sensitive geology monitoring equipment.


Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.