Ken Hopkins said his Monroe-area community often deals with constant rain, heavy snow and ice — but in his 35 years of living in the area he’s never seen something like this.
“This is kind of a big one,” he said Monday afternoon.
Hopkins lives in Skyview Estates, a 44-house development east of Monroe that’s only accessible from a private road. Last week’s deluge of rain created a river of mud that almost completely cut the community off from the outside.
About 150 feet of 260th Avenue Southeast has been destroyed, said Samantha Idle, a member of the Skyview Estates residents’ board. It’s currently accessible only by all-terrain vehicle, or on foot.
“We don’t really have a way out,” Hopkins said. “I’m hoping our neighbors are going to step up and say, ‘Let’s make it work.’ ”
He said that because part of the road is still there, Hopkins and his neighbors have been getting up and down the hill by carpooling on ATVs. Snohomish County Fire District 5 also has an ATV equipped to transport patients in case of emergency, said department spokeswoman Heather Chadwick.
“But I think that novelty is going to wear off soon,” Hopkins said. “Reality is starting to set in.”
About 120 people live in the affected neighborhood, and some were escorted out of the area Sunday evening so they could get to school and work.
“This is serious,” Idle said. “We need help.”
Road repair could take anywhere from seven months to over a year, she said. The community is hoping they’ll qualify for some grants to cover the costs, which could be up to $1 million, though they won’t have firm estimates for a couple weeks.
Meanwhile, in King County, officials on Monday asked residents to voluntarily evacuate a neighborhood in Fall City because land along the only road access into and out of the area is moving.
The land movement is threatening 356th Drive near Highway 202, according to King County Road Services. The road provides sole access for about 75 homes, said Broch Bender, a King County Road Services spokesperson.
“It’s not ominous,” Bender said. “It’s just out of an abundance of caution. The road is open now.”
A soil expert will evaluate the site on Tuesday to determine the next steps, the agency tweeted. There is no estimate for when the land movement will stabilize.
A Red Cross shelter at Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church in Fall City opened Monday afternoon to welcome anyone impacted by evacuations.
Near Mount Rainier, several roads remain closed because of landslides and washouts, according to The Associated Press. The National Park Service has been running an escort convoy each day over a Forest Service back road for residents dealing with the landslide, so they can get supplies.
Crystal Mountain Resort, which has been closed for days by slides on roads leading to the ski area, is planning to reopen Tuesday, pending approval from state transportation officials, the AP reported.