Photo of the landslide area shows a massive slice of the cliff cut away. Photo courtesy Whidbey News-Times (http://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/#). CLICK TO ENLARGE(WHIDBEY ISLAND, WA) — A massive landslide occurred early this morning on Whidbey Island. The side of a hill gave way damaging at least one home and placing up to 30 others in peril from more land shifting.
The slide occurred in the Central Whidbey Community of Ledgewood about 4:00 a.m. according to the Whidbey News-Times, which reported that “hundreds of feet of earth sloughed off from the bluff above Driftwood Way, destroying much of the road and knocking one home off its foundation.”
Chad Michael, assistant chief of Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue told the newspaper the slide was “massive.”
The report, found here says the slide destroyed a road that cutoff 17 homes, five of which were occupied at the time of the slide.
Those 17 homes on Fircrest Avenue have been evacuated as sections of the bluff continued to drop off through the morning hours.
There did not appear to be any injuries but one resident in a home that was knocked off its foundation had a preexisting medical condition and was transported to Whidbey General Hospital, according to the report which also noted that by 10:30 a.m., Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue emergency responders were busy evacuating the remaining residents from their homes by boat.
The slide area was described as being about the size of two football fields and that when the earth gave way it transformed the shoreline from “a once straight waterfront to one that now has a large peninsula jutting out into Puget Sound.”
Neighbors reported hearing what sounded like a large boom when the earth gave way.
The report said that Island County was bringing in a geotechnical engineer this afternoon to evaluate the scene and provide a determination of how long residents will have to stay away from their homes.
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