7/29/2014

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Inslee tours Whidbey slide: 'Amazing there were no casualties'

Inslee tours Whidbey slide: 'Amazing there were no casualties'
COUPEVILLE, Wash. - The devastating landslide on Whidbey Island left some homes teeter-tottering off the edge, while others were just destroyed. And on Saturday, Gov. Jay Inslee got a first-hand look at the damage from the slide.

"It's spectacular in scope (and) lucky in event that no one lost their life," he said. "It really was amazing there were not casualties in this."

The landslide, which hit nearly two weeks ago, pushed one home off its foundation, knocked down power lines and also took out a stretch of road.

Dozens of people were forced from their homes. Some have been able to return, and others can get items from their properties but they can’t stay there.

"I know it’s very frustrating for people – extremely traumatic to be outside of your home," Inslee says. "The geology of this is uncertain enough, though, that there’s probably going to have to be more geological review to get a good answer for people. Safety is a concern."

And concerns are still on the minds of those who live here.

Craig dickison came to Ledgewood on Saturday morning to check on his parents' property.

"Will it stabilize and what’s the likelihood of another event?" he says. "When it first happened we were biting our nails a little bit trying to figure out exactly where the slide was."

Since the slide, crews have created a temporary access road for residen, and they’re now trying to restore power.

Kelly Emerson, chair of the Whidbey Island Board of Commissioners, says, "We’re still looking for a complete stabilization or as good as we’re going to get and then assess what we have for being able to rebuild the road in the future - if that is a possibility for us."

As the governor and county officials were touring the site on Saturday, volunteers were trying to raise money to help the landslide victims.

Says volunteer Elizabeth Bishop: "I love our community. I grew up in (Coupeville), and it means a lot to me to help people in need of help right now."
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