Most recent Clay Bank Landslide event on the Nooksack River
One of the big lessons from the Hazel/Oso Landslide was taken up by John Stark and Ralph Schwartz with the Bellingham Herald. They did an early article shortly after the Hazel/Oso Landslide regarding the landslide hazard in Whatcom County, Washington State (Whatcom County Has Its Share of Hazardous Slide Areas, Too). Whatcom County is two counties north of Snohomish County where the Hazel/Oso Landslide took place. And like Snohomish County has valleys that extend into the Northwest Cascades and North Cascades.
John and Ralph did a very good job with the subject. They spoke with a few local geologists and Roland Middleton with County Public Works. Roland has been the County a long time and was formerly in the Planning Department. John and Ralph also have their own news archives to go through assembling past landslide events in Whatcom County (old news stories archives are an important landslide hazard resource).
There are and will be some very hard painful lessons associated with this horrible event. But one lesson should be for local communities to take a hard look at their own risks from landslides and perhaps other natural hazards and assess how those hazards are being approached. Hence, the story angle John and Ralph went with is very important and should be an angle local reports should take not just in Washington State but in any area with landslide potential. And news stories should be followed with a hard look at how these hazards are being approached by local government. What are the regulations? Are the landslides or other natural hazard areas identified? What are the public awareness programs? If people live in a hazardous area, What is being done to reduce that Hazard?