MONROE, Wash. – Snohomish County Emergency Management said geotechnical engineers discovered new cracks on a landslide in Monroe at the Skyview Estates. The slide significantly damaged the only road leading to the neighborhood.
The slightest movement of the landslide could leave more than 100 people stranded on top of the hill.
“We know that things might get worse before they get better,” said Arne Haslund, who has lived in the neighborhood for three years.
Heavy rains caused the landslide, damaging the private road. It’s the only way to get to the neighborhood and the path continues to crumble. It’s unsafe to drive on, so residents walk or drive all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to get what they need before the next round of weather.
“I think if there’s much more rain we could very likely lose the rest of that road and we’d be completely stuck,” said Haslund.
Officials said the county can’t fix or pay for repairs because it’s a private road. So, the neighborhood may have to come up with its own money to get it done.
“I’ve heard guesstimates ranging from $250,000 all the way to $2 million. So, it’s really kind of a ballpark pie in the sky right now. We don’t really know,” said Haslund.
Emergency management said the road isn’t the only concern. New cracks on the landslide could mean trouble for a house at the bottom of the hill located on Ben Howard Road.
“I don’t want this to come down on us,” said John Edwards, who lives in the home officials said is at risk.
Emergency management said it’s still working to learn more about the stability of the hill. So, officials aren’t requiring the family to evacuate, but said the home is unsafe to occupy. Edwards said his family is prepared to leave.
“We’ve got it all packed up and everything. If they come by and tell us we have to go then we’ll go,” said Edwards.
For now, he said they plan to stay home at their own risk.
“Just wait and see what happens,” said Edwards.
With the threat of the road closing off completely, neighbors use the sliver still intact to get what they need for the long haul.
“Extra gas, extra propane. I got my generator dialed in. I’ve got firewood, I’ve got lots of food in the pantry,” said Haslund.
Emergency management says engineers will continue to inspect the landslide for more cracks and potential risks.