Rockslide blocks part of Disautel Pass

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 25 at 11:50 AM

OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. -- Giant boulders came crashing down on Disautel Pass, blocking part of the roadway Thursday morning.

The rocks reportedly came down around 7 a.m. on State Route 155 between Nespelem and Omak. There were no reports of injuries. The slide happened a couple miles from the top of the pass, according to an official with the state Department of Transportation.

Many drivers experience the jaw dropping sight.

“I’m over there almost every day. My grandma lives over there I go over there and see her every day and I’ve never seen something like that,” said Reilee Smith who drives through the area.

The WSDOT spokesperson said the rocks were blocking one lane of Highway 155 in the area. Traffic was getting through via the other lane.

State transportation officials said the area is prone to rock fall. The roadway sits in a valley between two rocky summits. It appears some boulders rolled several hundred feet down the mountainside.
A DOT crewmember said it was incredibly difficult to push the boulder off the road using a front loader.

DOT supervisors said he is sure rain on Wednesday night contributed to the rock fall.

Officials said workers from the state’s materials lab will soon come to examine the area above the highway and if necessary, an Engineering Geologist from Olympia will look at the stability.
 

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