Editorial — Washington state landslide a grim reminder

There are challenges for those living at the base of hills and mountains, as the slide over the weekend reminds us.

The horrific landslide in Washington state Saturday morning is a good reminder of the challenges that exist when people live at the base of hills — including some in Langley.

There is always a risk of landslides, particularly if there has been fill dumped on the hillside, or large numbers of trees have been cut. This year, with increased rain, the soil is very waterlogged. That seems to be the main reason for the slide in Oso, in Snohomish County.

There have been landslides in Langley in recent years, notably on 264 Street near the base of the steep hill that rises above Glen Valley. There are many other places in Langley where there are similar risks.

Langley Township and Langley City need to take a closer look at places where there is a substantial risk. The first step they can take is to flag properties which could be at high risk, and ensure no new buildings are built on them. Beyond that, plans for responses to any such slides need to be updated and double-checked.

Hopefully, no such landslides will take place here, but it does not hurt to be prepared for the worst.

Langley Times