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Slides close Chuckanut Drive; high water on Chuckanut Creek (video)

Chuckanut landslides

The small rockfall about 1 mile south of Clayton Beach Trailhead, Dec 12, 2010. Pretty dinky, but potential for plenty more in this weather. Click to enlarge

The annual round of landslides has begun along Chuckanut Drive (Washington Highway 11). The road was closed yesterday evening  due to the first rockfall of the season. I just returned from an effort to get photos.

The road is closed to southbound traffic 1/2 mile south of the Clayton Beach trailhead; the rockfall I saw is about another 1/2 mile further south. I found a small pile of rocks across the road at about mile post 13.5. It is not by any means an impressive slide, but there is a report of another one further south. I couldn’t verify that. No sign of clean up efforts yet. I didn’t tarry- there were a number of head-sized rocks on the road behind me, and I didn’t want to become a headline. Quick photos and I was gone. A story I wrote last year about the geology behind these annual events is posted here.

An understatement on Chuckanut Drive.

Chuckanut Creek

Water is high and muddy in Chuckanut Creek as it races through Arroyo Park at the southern edge of Bellingham. Worth a look-see if you are wanting an excuse to get out on this wet day. The stream gage at the footbridge says 3.5 feet. This is not by any means an epic flood, the water is not even over the trail (yet) but fun nonetheless. The high water ought to flush the last of the stinking fish carcasses out of the creek, at least. A video I took of high water in the creek is posted here on YouTube.

Chuckanut Creek is boiling and muddy at the Arroyo Park footbridge.


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the update. After fixing my front yard drainage in the rain, I poured myself a glass of wine and stayed in.

    • Not a bad idea, John. I, on the ohter hand, finished the Bonneville landslide draft for the Geology Underfoot volume and then went right back to look at Chuckanut Creek again. It has gone down a couple inches over the course of the day.

  2. Thanks for the update. I am enjoying the bad weather in the northwest from far away. But I still got wet yesterday and am freezing today

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