Rain saturation increases area landslide risk

Rain saturation increases area landslide risk

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by Tim Gordon, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 20 at 9:49 AM

PORTLAND- Snow followed by plenty of rain has an expert on landslides warning that the ground is saturated and homeowners should be checking their properties.

“Strike one, you have steep slopes, secondly, you have weak soils in the west hills, all you have to do is add the water, three strikes and you’re out," said Geologist Scott Burns. "And so for us control of water is the big deal.”

Burns recently retired from Portland State University and has earned the title of Professor Emeritus.

Burns said any homeowners who live on a slope should watch for ponding on the ground and cracks that indicate the earth is starting to move.

“What you don’t want to do is pond a bunch of water on a slope where the soils are already saturated," Burns said. "Because what happens is they will lose their strength and they will flow. If there’s a house on it or a house below it you will have a disaster.”

Burns also said to make sure gutters are clear and draining properly to storm water drains.

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