By Alec Regimbal / Yakima Herald-Republic
YAKIMA — A fissure high on Rattlesnake Ridge east of Union Gap showed no significant progress in growth and forced no new evacuations over the holiday, officials said Tuesday.
However, officials did receive several calls over the weekend from concerned passers-by who thought the crack was getting bigger. A subsequent investigation revealed the weekend’s snowfall made the crack appear larger.
“The snow is giving it contrast and defining the edges around the fissure, making it look bigger,” said Horace Ward, Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management senior emergency planner.
Last week, authorities closed Thorp Road along the Yakima River east of Union Gap, and placed residents near 4650 Thorp Road under a Stage 2 evacuation notice — meaning they need to gather their belongings and be ready to leave.
Since then, no other roads have been closed and no other residents in the vicinity of the crack have been placed under an evacuation notice, Ward said.
Additionally, no progress in the fissure’s growth had been observed by those monitoring it.
“But we did find some 10-inch rocks that had fallen onto Thorp road, so I’m glad we closed it,” Ward said, “Having one of those fall on you wouldn’t have felt very nice.”