Engineers considering new river channel around slide

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jlangelerKING5

KING5.com

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 1 at 11:01 PM

DARRINGTON, Wash. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is analyzing ways to divert spring runoff into the Stillaguamish River to prevent further flooding and allow access to parts of the Oso Landslide, incident management said Tuesday.

The river is partially blocked by the large hillside that slid into part of the Oso community March 22.  Some parts of the debris field are covered in 25-feet of water, according to Mike Asher with the Washington Interagency Incident Management Team.

"If we can't find a way to deal with the water that's trapped," Asher explained, "It's going to be an issue we will run into, runoff compromising the search effort."

Parts of the river valley were flooded in the immediate aftermath of the landslide, though the river has carved out its own small channel in the days since.

However, Asher said spring runoff could quadruple the water level behind the slide.

"That debris is going to dam up," he said, "It's going to accumulate."

Asher indicated a plan from the Army Corps of Engineers to possibly create a new channel around the debris field could come within days.

 

 

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