A mudslide hit the upper parking lot at Burien’s Seahurst Park on Tuesday, March 14.
Here are photos and an eyewitness report from Photographer Elston Hill:
“Barriers have been placed to close off at least two-thirds of the parking lot,” Elston said.
“Jackie and I stopped at Seahurst Park at Noon on our way from an early morning appointment as there was a break in the rain. I only had my pocket camera, but got a picture of the slide as well as a few other photos. The moss is gorgeous after such a rainy year.
“This was the first time that I noticed several old growth tree stumps with the slots where the lumberjacks built the platforms on which they sawed down the trees.
“There was also evidence that the park had sawed some fallen trees.”
The reasoning for nature’s slippage is obvious – 8.85 inches of rain soaked the region in February, more than double the normal amount of precipitation for the month. February, 2017 is now the area’s second wettest February on record, topped only by February 1961, when 9.11 inches fell at Sea-Tac Airport.
The City of Burien told us that the mudslide happened on Feb. 9, and added:
Impact to park?
Three-quarters of our upper parking lot is closed, but there are still 40 spaces available there. Lower lot and a small part of the upper parking lot is still open to the public. Based on recommendations from a geoengineer, we are waiting until the weather dries out to finish cleaning up the parking lot. We’ve also cordoned off an area identified by the geoengineer in order to keep the public safe. So far, crews have been able to clear a concrete drainage ditch to make sure that water from an area to the east of slide doesn’t overflow into the parking lot.
Small slides are common in this area, just as they are in other areas listed on our Critical Areas Map: http://www.burienwa.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1107.
The City’s message to visitors:
“Please stay out of the cordoned off area and don’t cross the barricades. We hope to get it cleared when the weather improves before an increase in visits to the park.”