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Giant sinkhole swallows street as record rains cause landslides around Washington state

Giant sinkhole swallows street as record rains cause landslides around Washington state (KOMO)

LYNDEN, Wash. - Repairs to a massive sinkhole in Lynden could cost up to $1 million and take months to complete.

Half of North 8th Street is gone, just a day after a neighbor first discovered a hole in his front yard.

Mick Van Dalen had just returned home from dinner with friends when he spotted the 10 by 15 foot hole.

“It was a shock,” said Van Dalen. “I knew there was a problem."

Stunned by the size of the sinkhole he immediately called for help.

Public works crews traced that problem to an old, rusting culvert filled with water running beneath the road.

They rushed to shore up the hole. It’s now more than 90-feet long and 30-feet wide.

“There’s been heavy snow, heavy rain. We’ve never had this high water here. And of course, we've never had a sink hole either,” said Van Dalen.

“It shows the power of nature. we don't win when nature takes over,” said the Lynden Mayor, Scott Korthuis.

The mayor believes all that runoff from snow and rain helped push the old culvert to its breaking point.

“Occasionally these things age and fail and we get catastrophic failure like this and we have to deal with them,” said Korthuis.

The mayor says it'll take months and up to a million dollars or more to fix everything.

The sinkhole is just the latest in a series of weather-related trouble around the Puget Sound after record rain saturated the region.

In Renton, a two mudslides came down along West Valley Highway near Interstate 405, just below the Monterey Terrace neighborhood.

Heavy equipment was brought in to clean up the mess.

"We get what we call sloughing which means its' not major landslides but it's small pieces of brown that give way and roll down steep slope usually carrying old logs and trees," said Gregg Zimmerman with the Renton Public Works Department.

An early morning mudslide in Puyallup will keep part of East Pioneer Way closed until at least Friday.

A neighbor said he was checking on the eroding hillside behind his house when he felt the ground become mush under his feet.

"I look down there, it's hard to move. you see the grapevines slide out from underneath me so I took off," said Tim Snyder. "We lost, probably another two to three feet last night."

In West Seattle, a large slide that shut down a busy stretch of Highland Park Way will remain closed until at least Friday afternoon.

The road has been closed since early Wednesday morning when a wall of mud and debris washed over the roadway.

In Cowlitz county, a large landslide covered part of northbound Interstate 5 in Woodland on Thursday afternoon.

The lanes reopned about five hours later, but the state Department of Transportation planned to monitor the hillside overnight. Engineers will also be brought in on Friday to examine the slide area.




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