Letters to the Editor

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MUDSLIDE: Mother Nature wasn’t to blame

Letter by J. L. Hall, Edgewood on Jan. 24, 2011 at 10:51 am with No Comments »
January 24, 2011 10:51 am

Reading the article (TNT, 1-21) concerning the mudslide on the West Valley Highway, I was reminded of the old adage: “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” The article neglected to mention the fact that this property, due to the arrogance of the property owner and the apparent disinterest by Sumner officials, was totally strafed of every piece of vegetation. It was an obvious disaster in the making.

It’s impossible to believe that a land developer would spend hours “preparing” a piece of property only to announce he has “no plans” for it. Are we supposed to believe that balderdash? Had anyone used any common sense, this property would still be covered by trees and the soil would be where it always lay.

Perhaps the site was being prepared for the current University of Washington soil engineering students to observe what happens when you scrape all vegetation off a hill and add water. Surprise! It all turns to mud and, like excrement, it runs downhill.

It’s easy to blame Mother Nature for this mess, but there was rain up and down the valley and the rest of the hill didn’t slide away – only the part where all vegetation was removed.

No extensive explanations or expensive solutions will solve this manmade problem. It will take time to bandage this wound.

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