Authorities are breathing a small sigh of relief amidst all the destruction from the fatal landslide on the Stillaguamish River.
They are relieved because the river flow is getting back to normal.
When the landslide blocked the Stillaguamish River water began to collect above all the muck and debris, and flow rates down river from the landslide plummeted.
Marijke van Heeswijk is a hydrologist with the US Geological Survey.
"It was a pretty quick drop, like turning off the faucet, not turning it off all the way but letting it drip a little bit," says van Heeswijk.
A few hours after the slide the river was flowing less than half as fast as it was before the slide. Water levels dropped by more than a foot.
That had authorities warning of flood risks should the mucky dam give way and release all that built up water.
But it looks like nature is showing some mercy amidst all the destruction. The river is now carving a channel through the muck.
“From what they’re seeing right now they believe that a catastrophic breach is no longer expected but they’ll continue to monitor it and make recommendations,” says van Heeswijk.
Flow rates below the landslide on the Stillaguamish are now back to normal.
Copyright 2014 KUOW