STEHEKIN — More than a month after a massive mudslide made its way down Imus Creek in Stehekin, the National Park Service is still cleaning up the mess.
And although October’s unseasonably warm weather may help extend the work season this fall, the cleanup isn’t likely to conclude until sometime next spring, said Park Service spokesman Ken Hires.
Hires said an estimated 30,000 cubic yards of rocks, mud and debris slid down the creek and into the Stehekin Landing area.
The Park Service plans to remove about 18,000 cubic yards, and leave the rest to blend into the landscape.
The slide covered about 20 parked vehicles and damaged dozens of bicycles kept at the landing for renting to visitors.
An historic shed at the Imus Cabin filled with water and mud, and mud also encroached on a public laundry building. Hires said damages to the laundry and shower building were only minor. He said excavators haven’t yet reached the shed, and since it is an historic site, the cleanup plan will be closely examined.
Immediately after the slide, the park service offered a shuttle service on the partially blocked Stehekin Valley Road, and reopened it within days.
Stehekin resident Mike Barnhart called the cleanup process the “big dig.” In an email, he said many of the cars in the long-term parking lot at Stehekin Landing belonged to summer residents, and he doubted they were insured, since Stehekin has only 10 miles of roads. He estimated that one-third of close to two dozen cars in that lot were completely destroyed.