Understanding Regional Flooding and Increased Landslide Risk

Heavy rain not only causes river flooding, but the saturated ground can lead to an increased threat of landslides.

It is important to know how to recognize the warning signs of a landslide and how to respond if a landslide should occur.

Recognize the Warning Signs

Fast-moving landslides:

  • Listen and watch for rushing water, mud, and unusual sounds like trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
  • A faint rumbling sound that increases in volume is noticeable as the landslide nears.
  • Moving fences, retaining walls, utility poles, k-rails, boulders, or trees.
Slow-moving landslides:

  • Changes occur in your landscape such as patterns of storm-water drainage on slopes (especially the places where runoff water converges), land movement, small slides, flows, or progressively leaning trees.
  • Doors or windows stick or jam for the first time.
  • New cracks appear in plaster, tile, brick, or foundations.
  • Outside walls, walks, or stairs begin pulling away from the building.
  • Slowly developing, widening cracks appear on the ground or on paved areas such as streets or driveways.
  • Bulging ground appears at the base of a slope.
  • Water breaks through the ground surface in new locations.
  • Fences, retaining walls, utility poles, or trees tilt or move.
  • The ground slopes downward in one direction and may begin shifting in that direction under your feet.
  • Underground utility lines break.
To report a non-life-threatening landslide, call our regional, non-emergency dispatch center (425) 577-5656, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In the case of an emergency always call 9-1-1.

For more information, check out the Landslide Safety article on Let's Talk or visit ready.gov.

Stay safe and follow road signs that warn you about water over roadways! Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock a person down and one foot of moving water can sweep away a vehicle.

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