A landslide northeast of Gig Harbor has left some residents scrambling for a way out of their waterfront homes.
The landslide happened Monday near the 10400 block of Sunrise Beach Road Northwest, near Sunrise Beach Park, according to Pierce County Public Works.
The slide is covering a private driveway for eight homes. Above the driveway is Sunrise Beach Road, which also has shown some settling.
No homes are threatened by the slide, county road operations Superintendent Paul Marsh said.
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The settling shoulder of the road was noticed March 20 and addressed two days later, Marsh said. But on Monday, the side below the road gave way.
“As things progressed here, we’ve evaluated the slide and determined it’s still active,” Marsh said. “Muddy water is still emitting from the slope, which is a bad sign.”
The hillside often sees minor, sandy slides toward the park. But Marsh said he hasn’t seen a slide at the hillside at this spot in his 32 years as a county employee.
Until the hillside dries somewhat, there’s not much county workers can do.
“We don’t want anybody underneath working if more material is going to come down,” Marsh said. “Until that slope stabilizes or we can stabilize it, there’s going to be a delay.”
Contractors did remove two large maple trees above the hillside, Marsh said, in an attempt to relieve pressure on the hillside.
Jim Baker, who has lived along the beach since 1992, said the hilltop is often wet, even in midsummer.
Because of the blocked driveway, Baker has had to drive through other people’s properties to get out of his home.
The county is likely to help the residents clear the private driveway once everything is stable.
“They can’t even get their crews in there. They really can’t even assess it completely until the rain stops,” Baker said. “It needs to dry a little bit before they can do anything about it.”