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Oregon, Washington geologists team up to produce landslide guide for homeowners

Corbett Hill Road landslide. Note child's play structure. (KATU)

Above average rainfall since October has led to a rash of landslides around northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

Geologists with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have teamed up to produce a landslide hazard guide for homeowners.

Engineering geologist Bill Burns of DOGAMI says our region's history of landslides begins and ends with rainfall. And also where you live.

“Really, where they occurred in the past is a great indicator of where we think they are going to occur in the future,” Burns said. “A lot of them are in the West Hills, the Portland hills. And also the steep banks that go down to the rivers, the Willamette and Columbia.

The pamphlet includes signs for homeowners that a slide may be imminent and steps to take to prevent your house from slip sliding away.

“Do you see other signs of past landslides, like cracking in your foundation, or cracks in the ground, leaning trees, things like that,” Burns said. “When we have these periods of heightened rainfall, that’s when we see a lot of landslides.”

Burns said homeowners -- or people who are thinking of buying a home -- should be aware if they are living in, or contemplating a move to a landslide hazard area.

On DOGAMI’s website, you can pull up a map, enter your address and find out right away if you’re in such an area.

“Number one is actually figuring out whether you’re in a landslide hazard area or not,” Burns said. “If you are, then there are some great lists of items in here that you can do.”

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