Forum Index > Trail Talk > Landslide blocks access to Johnston Ridge at Mt St Helens
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altasnob
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altasnob
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PostTue May 16, 2023 6:44 am 
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zimmertr
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PostTue May 16, 2023 8:07 am 
Video by King County Air Support showing the evacuation as well as the damage caused to the bridge/area:

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Stefan
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PostTue May 16, 2023 8:10 am 
That's not cleared. That road is wiped out. Looks like a bridge is going to need to be built.

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Randito
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PostTue May 16, 2023 8:15 am 
Yes and I think the agency will want to observe for sometime to have a reasonable degree of confidence more landslides aren't going to occur to endanger work crews, the reconstruction or travelers.

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treeswarper
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PostTue May 16, 2023 8:47 am 
Depending on instream working requirements, a Bailey Bridge can be slapped in (erected) quickly. Those have been used on the 25 road, south of Randle, for a few years until a spendy permanent bridge replaced it. Note: The spot on the 25 road is an active slide so no bridge would be permanent.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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altasnob
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PostTue May 16, 2023 9:17 am 
The area near that slide demonstrates mankind's inability to control mother nature. Spirit Lake has always drained towards the North Fork of the Toutle River. The blast dammed this outflow, the but over time, the lake still wants to drain down its historic drainage. But man is worried if we just let the lake do its thing there will be catastrophic floods that affect all the people downstream who decided to set up shop in the watershed of the most active volcano in the lower 48. So man drilled a tunnel through the mountain to drain Spirit Lake unnaturally into South Coldwater Creek. No surprise, that tunnel is failing. Also no surprise, is this washout which is right where this unnatural tunnel empties the contents of Spirit Lake into a drainage not meant for it. All this extra unnatural water is eroding and deepening the stream bed, which creates unstable terrain right below where this washout happened (shocker that when you empty a massive lake into a small creek, bad things happen). Stop fighting it, the mountain won. Just let Spirit Lake go where it wants. Or spend millions, maybe billions, over the years just so a few people can live where they probably shouldn't be living.
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/aging-tunnel-near-mount-st-helens-needs-work-to-avert-flood-risks-to-nearby-residents/

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Randito
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PostTue May 16, 2023 9:32 am 
altasnob wrote:
Or spend millions, maybe billions, over the years just so a few people can live where they probably shouldn't be living.
The article you linked puts the number of residents at risk from an outburst from Spirt Lake at 50,000 -- is that "a few" in your book. 50,000 residents roughly maps to 20,000 houses. Even at a low figure of $250,000 per house , that's $5 billion in property values. Further what would be the economic impact if the outburst took out the I-5 bridge, which very nearly happened in May 1980 from the flood from the glaciers on MSH melting very rapidly.

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altasnob
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PostTue May 16, 2023 9:36 am 
You assume this problem can be "fixed." My money is that it can't, any any cost. It's hard enough for us to keep all our roads in tact in the PNW. I don't see how we can unnaturally divert water out of lake in a land so geographically and seismically unstable for the rest of time. This recent road washout is just the tip of the iceberg. The money would be better spent focusing on protecting I-5 and the railroad. Either move it out of harms way or build it up in the air with bridges so that it is so high that any possible lahar/flood would go right underneath. Everyone else assumes the risk by remaining there.

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Randito
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PostTue May 16, 2023 9:47 am 
altasnob wrote:
You assume this problem can be "fixed." My money is that it can't, any any cost. It's hard enough for us to keep all our roads in tact in the PNW. I don't see how we can unnaturally divert water out of lake in a land so geographically and seismically unstable for the rest of time. This recent road washout is just the tip of the iceberg. The money would be better spent focusing on protecting I-5 and the railroad. Either move it out of harms way or build it up in the air with bridges so that it is so high that any possible lahar/flood would go right underneath. Everyone else assumes the risk by remaining there.
Your proposed engineering solution isn't necessarily any better or have a higher probability of success than the tunnel. A high rise I-5 bridge would cost much much more than a new tunnel, and even more than excavation of the entire debris dam. Plus historically efforts to "buy out" houses in flood plans are only marginally successful and FEMA funds are always forthcoming following a disaster. Look at the lower 9th ward in New Orleans.

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adamschneider
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PostTue May 16, 2023 10:06 am 
That map of the tunnel is wrong. The Spirit Lake tunnel discharges its water BELOW the road, near the bottom of that waterfall.

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treeswarper
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PostTue May 16, 2023 10:47 am 
Ummmm, the communities downstream were established before much was known about the volcano. Should we evacuate the Nisqually drainage also? Parts of Tacoma? Everything that is likely to be destroyed when Rainier sends a lahar down the hill? Roads wash out, we fix them. Otherwise, you wouldn't be driving around much in this state. For many years, some Lewis Countians have been lobbying for yet another highway to bring in tourists. It would be a real beast to build and maintain. Residents along the route are not for it. They like their quiet on the Falls Road.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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HappyHiker
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PostTue May 16, 2023 10:56 am 
Correct, the Spirit Lake discharge tunnel is seen in the lower portion of this picture. More pictures on the Chronicle Website. https://www.chronline.com/stories/slides-wipes-out-spirit-lake-highway-2-miles-away-from-johnston-ridge,319274

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thunderhead
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PostTue May 16, 2023 11:36 am 
Probably a result of snowmelt from our heatwave?

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NightOwl
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PostTue May 16, 2023 12:08 pm 
altasnob wrote:
The area near that slide demonstrates mankind's inability to control mother nature. ... Stop fighting it, the mountain won.
A fitting epitaph for this civilization:
Quote:
I fought the Tao and the Tao won.

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Tom
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PostTue May 16, 2023 1:45 pm 
Almost 43 years to the date...

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