By Amy Nile Herald Writer
INDEX — Thom Boullioun is tired of hauling gas and groceries through shin-deep mud two miles up to his Mount Index River Road home. That’s been the situation much of the time for the 62-year-old and up to 100 neighbors since late December when a mudslide took out the private road.
The steep hillside has continued to slide, leaving people stranded and without power for days at a time.
“It’s looking worse than ever,” Boullioun, a Mount Index homeowner of 22 years, said. “The ground seems to have no consistency. It’s oozing and creeping and taking out everything downhill.”
The Mt. Index Riversites homeowners group has spent $50,000 over the past two months paying workers to keep one lane of the switchback road clear intermittently.Now, there is no money left to pay crews.
“We’re in quite a pickle,” Boullioun, a retired Boeing worker, said.
Kris Moulaison, who owns two Mount Index properties, has started a GoFundMe page to raise money. Eventually, the group needs to come up with the cash to build a new road and a retaining wall.
For now, Moulaison said, they need at least $1,200 a day to pay workers to keep the road clear for people to haul in supplies and allow for emergency access.
“It’s a mess,” Moulaison said. “There’s a lot of older people out there who are having trouble.”
A few homes are in danger of sliding. Boullioun said a group of neighbors earlier this week dismantled a cabin that was about to be pushed off its foundation.
“We have a hillside that’s way, way out of control,” he said.
With a power pole also close to coming down, Boullioun said, people are working with the Snohomish County Public Utility District to reroute power to keep the lights on in the west side of the neighborhood. Without power, many will have no access to water because the homes are served by wells.
“It’s a lot like the 1800s here,” Boullioun said.
He has been documenting the situation by posting photos and videos on the Mt. Index Riversites Facebook page.
“It’s pretty tough living out here,” Boullioun said. “The morale is really low.”
Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org.