Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News Group
                                A view of Fidalgo Drive, where the landslide occurred Friday.

Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News Group A view of Fidalgo Drive, where the landslide occurred Friday.

Broken water line causes landslide

A water main on Fidalgo Drive burst, causing a landslide Friday evening in Clinton.

Cracking in the pavement was noticed Friday. The broken pipe allowed water to flow down the street, which then saturated the hillside and initiated its shifting.

South Whidbey Fire/EMS Chief Rusty Palmer said there were no reported injuries and the line was repaired. As a precaution, the fire department alerted 53 households about a voluntary evacuation. Only five decided to evacuate.

Island County Public Works Director Bill Oakes said it is unclear what caused the pipe to break. It is also unclear whether the excessive rainfall the South End has been experiencing affected the landslide.

Oakes said the slope has been moving by fractions of an inch every hour, and that the county is monitoring its activity.

“Crews have been taking down data every hour since Friday,” he said.

As a result of the pipe breakage and landslide, Fidalgo Drive is down to one lane until motion stops.

“We’re very likely several weeks away from being able to come out of a single lane,” Oakes said.

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