Many people living near Belfair in Mason County woke up to cold, darkened houses this morning after a landslide pushed trees and debris into power lines and equipment about 10 miles north of the town. The slide may have been due to locally heavy rains. Yes, it’s that time of year again: rain in Western Washington and, sooner or later, storms on the Eastside.
A test project by DNR and the National Weather Service is trying a raise awareness of mudslide risks, particularly the ones that occur because of heavy rain or prolonged periods of rain. Our online beta (test) map combines recent rainfall measurements from Weather Service rain gauges with information about the local soils and mudslide history. The result is a county-wide risk level rating. After more testing and refinements, this map may eventually be able to show mudslide risks in smaller areas than county-wide.
Take a look and see how your county rates now. The map is not intended to predict mudslides at any particular time or location; it only rates the overall risk that one might occur based on the amount of rain that has just fallen. The map is still in its testing phase, but we have placed it on the DNR website so you can be better informed.
Get the latest on flood warnings and other information from the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Please report landslides to DNR (report any injuries or property damage to 911).